(SALEM) - A West Washington School Board candidate Darrell Myers said he's had at least a dozen political signs stolen this week.
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, of the Leader-Democrat reports, the thefts included a 4 x 4 wooden sign across from the school.
The large sign was fixed to plywood and bolted to fence posts, driven into the ground.
Myers teaches at West Washington High School and believes most likely the signs were taken by students as a prank. He has notified the sheriff's department, which is investigating.
Prosecutor Dustin Houchin said political sign theft typically occurs every election.
While it usually is a prank, it has the potential to be a felony theft charge. It could also be classified as criminal mischief. It all depends, he said, on the circumstances. If it's students not thinking about the impact of their actions, Houchin said he'd be inclined to be more lenient. But if there's indication an opponent of the victim is involved, that changes things.
"Just because I could charge theft doesn't mean I would," he said. "If it was malicious and intentional that would push it more towards that."
Myers said signs are cheap - he estimates the value of the stolen ones at $100 - but said that's not the point.
"What they probably think is harmless fun is indeed a crime," he said.
Anyone with information about the sign theft is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 883-5999.
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