Contra Costa County Sheriff's deputies are interviewing a pair of Alamo teenagers in connection with the theft of 20 political signs. Sheriff's Deputy Elmer Glasser, assigned to Alamo, said the incident occurred around 5 p.m. Feb. 15 in the area of Oak Raider Drive.
"An Alamo resident witnessed two young men taking political signs and putting them in their vehicle. The resident copied down the license plate and called the Sheriff's Department," he said.
A responding deputy attempted to run the plates but was unable to find a match. When he tried other variants on the plate number, he found one that matched the vehicle described by the witness.
The investigation led police to a 17-year-old Alamo male. Discussions with the juvenile and his parents resulted in the recovery of 20 signs, many pertaining to the upcoming Measure A.
"They were just grabbing any politically based signs," said Glasser.
The signs have since been returned to their owners. A second juvenile is also being interviewed on the matter, and Glasser said a third may be brought in as well.
If arrested, the teens will face charges of theft. The severity of the charge will depend upon the value of the signs stolen.
Political signs throughout Alamo have been stolen or vandalized over the last several months since the discussion of incorporation began. Glasser said the frequency of reports on sign theft or vandalism has increased in the past two weeks as the March 3 election draws nearer. A sign on Danville Boulevard states that more than 120 Yes on A signs have been stolen.
Glasser said the reports he's received are in the 50-60 range but there may be cases that haven't been reported to the Sheriff's Department. He added that they are working to find those responsible.
"This is a delicate and sensitive issue to Alamo residents and the Sheriff's Office is taking it seriously," he said.
He said the teens being interviewed in the case have admitted that it was a high school prank, something Glasser said he feels is the case in the majority of the incidents involving signs.
This is the first incident where a witness contacted police to report an incident involving sign theft or vandalism. He suggested that any resident seeing a person knocking down or taking a political sign contact Sheriff's dispatch immediately.