Haley's home recording shows, at top left, a dark figure just before the sign thief steps in quickly to lift the sign. | Credit: Courtesy
Bert Haley | Credit: Courtesy

The theft of lawn signs is a perennial problem that crops up during election season. Around midnight on Tuesday, three signs for Goleta school board candidate Bert Haley were stolen from a house along Cathedral Oaks Road. The home, however, belongs to Bert Haley, and he reported the theft to the Sheriff’s Office the next day.

Haley has a number of cameras around his house from the days when he ran his printing and embroidery business out of his garage. One of the cameras showed an SUV drive up the street and a person wearing a hoodie and face mask walk over to Haley’s sign on his front lawn. The figure looks around, then quickly steps into Haley’s yard, grabs the sign, and runs back to the car. A different video shows the vehicle stopping, doors opening, two people running and placing things in the vehicle, and the vehicle apparently driving off before all the doors were closed.

“They came into my home and stole my signs,” Haley said. “That feels like a pretty big violation for someone who’s just trying to do something good for the teachers and the kids.”

The Sheriff’s Office took a report of the theft but had suspended the case unless new leads came to light, said Raquel Zick, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office. They were unaware of similar thefts so far this election season, she said, “but theft and vandalism does happen during campaign seasons.”

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