Four Sheriff Richard Wiles reelection campaign signs were stolen from a Central El Paso restaurant, according to a police report.
It states the Wiles campaign had permission from L&J Cafe to place the signs on a wrought-iron window. The restaurant is located at Stevens and Missouri in Central El Paso.
Images captured by the restaurant's surveillance system appear to show a group of men near the sign. One of the men is seen reaching up to a window. As they walk away, you can seen a campaign sign on the ground.
In the police report obtained by ABC-7, the Wiles campaign states each stolen sign cost $25.
ABC-7 is looking into the alleged theft. Surveillance images do not show the men walking away with a sign.
The Wiles campaign told ABC-7 this was not an isolated incident. According to campaign managers, supporters from around the county have called in, complaining about their own signs being stolen.
They campaign is asking for help identifying the men in the pictures.
"Regardless of what you think of a particular candidate, it's wrong to remove or interfere with a candidate's political signs," said El Paso County Democratic Party Chairman Liliana Holguin. "So it's really the speech of the candidate that is being abridged when his private property is being destroyed or removed by others."
Tampering with a campaign sign is a crime in Texas, either criminal mischief or theft, depending on whether the sign was taken or tampered with. Punishment ranges from $2,000 in fines to 180 days in jail, or both.
Tom Buchino, the Republican candidate for sheriff, told ABC-7 his supporters in the Northeast, Westside, and Eastside have also reported missing, "possibly stolen, campaign signs."
Buchino further stated, "Our campaign however, choose to simply re-install signs at these locations and not make a law enforcement and or media issue of such. I believe our local law enforcement has better things to do like protecting and serving our community."