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