August 21, 2019

Reward offered as local authorities investigate “Sign Bandit”

Heard Commission Chair candidate Russ Massa estimates that more than half of his campaign signs have been stolen or vandalized throughout the county in the past few weeks.

The issue culminated over the Labor Day weekend holiday as several of the stolen signs were placed on major highways after being defaced with spray paint.

Authorities with both the Franklin Police Department and Heard County Sheriff’s Office are currently conducting an investigation. “This is a serious offense that can bring charges of theft by taking, criminal trespassing, and criminal damage to property,” stated Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah.

Massa began hearing from several of his supporters over the weekend as they spotted the spray painted signs in several areas from Franklin northward to Centralhatchee.

In most cases the signs were painted over leaving only the middle three letters of the candidates name visible as “ASS”. One of the latest signs discovered on Old Field Road Monday night featured the signature “sign bandit.”

Massa released the following statement:

“While I appreciate the humor in this as much as the next person, this needs to stop. If it were one or two signs I would not be majorly concerned but having lost about half of my signs has been a blow to my campaign budget. These signs are not cheap and whoever is doing this needs to be held accountable. When these suspects are apprehended I will be pressing charges.”~Russ Massa

Signs have been removed from several areas including both intersections and private properties.

Massa is offering a $100 reward (Updated: Thanks to two anonymous donations of $25 and a $50 donation by T-Roy’s BBQ the reward is now $200) for information resulting in an arrest in this case. Names will be kept anonymous. If anyone has any information about these incidents please contact Chief Hannah at the Franklin Police Department (706)675-6624 or Russ Massa at (770)262-2818.

Defaced sign discovered Monday morning on US-HWY 27


  1. Trannon Goble says

    I am glad Russ is aggressively pursuing this. This is a real crime. It is disrespectful to property, free speech, the candidate and the campaign process. We have the same problem in Murray County with sign vandalism or stolen signs. It is outrageous and until a person stands up and says “Enough!”, the shenanigans will continue. Good for Russ Massa!

  2. How childish and immature can folks be??? I hope that whoever has done this is caught…..just ridiculous….

  3. Randy Bryan says

    How soon we forget,,,, I remember a time gone past when (well you know). How many people do you know that have not done something stupid in their past,,,, stealing signs sounds like someone has some time on their hands, and needs a job and family to worry about,,,, I bet (and I don’t) if nothing bad happens they will grow out of it… the thing with the mail boxes is a prime example,,, way too much time to burn,,,, but I can still remember and so can some other people,,, some things that happen in the mid and late 70’s … to the people doing this mess,,, God will forgive you, but the State of Georgia and the Heard County S/O more than likely won’t.

  4. Anna Kirkpatrick says

    So stupid!

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