Stealing Signs (Video)

Share:

Former Davis City Councilmember Ted Puntillo posted on Facebook: “At 11:39pm Tuesday night, this person took every YES ON MEASURE A sign on Montgomery Avenue in South Davis.”  Around this time in a campaign season, sign stealing is a frequent accusation, and this video shows clearly the conventionality of the act here.

Share:

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

75 thoughts on “Stealing Signs (Video)”

  1. Jim Frame

    It’s hard to believe that rational adults actually do this, but it seems to happen during every campaign, and on both sides.  It’s pretty sad.

    1. South of Davis

      Jim wrote:

      > It’s hard to believe that rational adults actually do

      > this, but it seems to happen during every campaign,

      > and on both sides.  It’s pretty sad.

      Jim is correct that this happens on “both sides”, but just like you are more likely to see left wing protesters at a Trump rally than right wing protesters at a Bernie rally you are more likely to see left of center no growthers stealing signs than right of center developers stealing signs…

      1. Alan Pryor

        …you are more likely to see left of center no growthers stealing signs than right of center developers stealing signs.

        True this

        I realize that small news organizations like the Vanguard are desperate for content and they’ll churn out everything the Yes on A astro-turf campaign will feed them – especially if they are their biggest advertisers and have their internet trolls ready to chime in with their sound bites to make every event controversial.

        But do you really think this low-grade video is so newsworthy that it merits posting under the “Breaking News” category. This story seems like it falls more in the “Man Bites Dog” category more suitable for an Enquirer-type news rag than the loftier journalistic standards that the Vanguard is supposedly striving to achieve.

        For instance, the post said that “every” Yes on Nishi sign was taken from Montgomery. But how many is “every”? Is it one sign or 100 signs? Plus, you might have mentioned that Puntillo was always a developer darling and reliable vote for any development sprawl when he was on the Council. He is also a signed public supporter of the Nishi project. Also, is there any independent verification that it was an actual Yes on A sign that was taken because you certainly cannot even see that in the video.

        By our own count, the No on Nishi signs has had over 50 signs pulled up and either taken away completely or torn up and left on site. Can the Vanguard run a story on “Mutilation of NO ON NISHI Signs Terrorize Residents”? I’ll come up with some sketchy video footage also showing crying mothers and children burying their pet No on Nishi sign remains if the Vanguards think that will get them the click views they obviously crave.

        1. Tia Will

          Alan

          I realize that small news organizations like the Vanguard are desperate for content and they’ll churn out everything the Yes on A astro-turf campaign will feed them “

          I would like to point out that the Vanguard, which you are very happy to disparage, also accepted uncritically your articles, including some that were very high in hype and low in factual content.  With the Vanguard, you get what you submit. So if you feel that your point of view is under represented, I would suggest the simple solution is to send in articles and clips of which you do approve.

      2. Roberta Millstein

        We had our Bernie sign stolen (as have our neighbors, numerous times), so I don’t know how that fits into your little narrative, or what possible evidence you could have for your claim that more “Yes” signs are stolen than “No” signs.

      3. Miwok

        HAHA thinks these people are “rational”

        – from Ohio where people think I am a Liberal… HAHA

        Basically it is no respect for their fellow human, or community. Also they think a yard sign influences someone.. “rational” thinking. If they are arrested and as the thieves they are, we would all be better off.

      4. Tia Will

        South of Davis and Frankly

        you are more likely to see left of center no growthers stealing signs than right of center developers stealing signs”

        Your evidence please.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    so I asked Mariko Yamada’s campaign…..Mariko, why are there hardly any signs for you?   she said they are very expensive and the other side has way more money to steal signs…

    I was appalled….but as someone who once had my John Munn sign stolen directly from in front of my house, I understood it.

    No on Nishi has a shoe string budget and I would bet this is even a staged event…  by the Yes on A crowd…  LOL

    PS>   Were those signs on private or public land?   and what side is Ted Puntillo on?    for full disclosure sake, more info please Ted.

    PPS>  Did you catch the license plate?

    PPPS>   If any hasn’t gotten it yet, I am NO on NISHI all the way…..

    I used to live in that lovely historic farmhouse back in the 70s….along with at least a dozen other cult members and UCD students…….and did anyone ever get to the bottom of the “accidental fire” which totalled it after developers were buying it?     I truly doubt that…..

    it was an amazing piece of history and should have been preserved…of course developers don’t like THAT either…

     

     

  3. Misanthrop

    The person who picks up the sign is not driving. There are two people involved. The person who picks up the sign appears to be a dark haired female.

    Can anyone identify the make of the car?

      1. Misanthrop

        I don’t think its the driver. They come into view from the side and never cross the path of the head or tail lights. Is it hair, a hoodie or a crazy hat?

    1. Jim Frame

      also, Jim Frame et al, which side are YOU on?

      I can’t speak for et al, but I voted yes on A.  Not very enthusiastically, but after weighing the pros and cons the result was clear nonetheless.

  4. ryankelly

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha….busted!

    i voted last week and voted Yes on A.  The pros outweigh the cons.  I am not swayed by lawn signs so I don’t know why No on A supporters bother doing this.

    1. The Pugilist

      I don’t get why someone would spend the time to drive down Montomery, which can’t have a lot of traffic and take out all the signs there.  Seems like for that amount of time, they could have walked a precinct or part of one.

      1. Biddlin

        I don’t know why anyone would post the video. I have some pretty good video software, but I can’t tell much about what the individual picked/pulled up. Can’t determine gender or race, I think the “dark hair” is a hoodie. Car might be a Mercedes E class, how many of those could there be in Davis? If you’re gonna use a cctv cams, get enough angles to cover the target, coming and going.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    until one shows proof of who was involved and why, this doesn’t prove anything…and could also be a convenient set up so the yes folks could cry “foul” – ie: steal the signs, post the video and have others go …”poor us”……that happens very regularly…..    – says this old conspiracy theorist who has seen such behavior before….

      1. Marina Kalugin

        Me, Frankly, I have no clue…if I wasn’t working wherever I happened to be…nor posting online I may have been sleeping..  I do that on occasion but certainly not enough…- I see this thread has gotten the traction expected or deserved…or whatever…..  as obviously all the Nishi stuff is the most important stuff around….Have a good eve…

  6. Tia Will

    Marina

    that happens very regularly…”

    I would apply your first statement to your last. Until you show proof that “this happens regularly” it doesn’t prove anything….”

    1. Marina Kalugin

      Tia, I wasn’t trying to prove nor disprove…. I just have heard that from most sides of the most contentious causes or campaigns over decades….  I have been involved in a few over the years…  LOL

  7. Misanthrop

    Its happened to signs in front of my house but we always thought it was kids. What we did was put some Vasoline on the signs and then it stopped.

  8. skeptical

    Facts and clear thinking are in short supply among this blog’s commenters.

    From the video, we can conclude that a sign was removed.  We cannot conclude the intention of the party removig the sign.  It may have been theft, it may have been staged, it may have been a mistake, it may have been a prank.  The car and the passenger in the car appear to be moving with clear purpose toward this particular sign.  Why would the passenger take the sign into the passenger side of the car (not the back seat, or trunk)?

    “At 11:39pm Tuesday night, this person took every YES ON MEASURE A sign on Montgomery Avenue in South Davis.”  Was this the only sign on Montgomery, or is there video of the same person removing “all” the other signs?  From the video, the viewer can’t identify the sign being removed.  Was it a Yes on A sign?  Was it a candidate sign?  This “story” and most of the bloggers are relying on the interpretation of the person that submitted it.  That’s no different than hearsay or gossip.  How is that any different than someone declaring that this whole event was staged?

    Which is worse…. sign removal or staged sign removal?

     

     

     

     

     

     

  9. Napoleon Pig IV

    Just a bit of harmless entertainment for the sheep while the pigs continue feeding at the trough.

    It’s actually a conspiracy among the ink producers, the pulp industry, the metal stand manufacturers, and the printing industry to drive up demand for signs.

    Oink!

  10. Eileen Samitz

    It seems oddly convenient for the “Yes on Measure A” side that this video appears on the Vanguard just before the vote, yet there has been no coverage of the massive theft of “No on Nishi” reports for weeks. Another complaint we are constantly hearing has been placement of uninvited “Yes” signs on residences who do not want them and, in fact are voting No. So I find Marina’s comment quite plausible about a staging by someone on the “Yes” side who was aware of where a video surveillance camera was set up.

    But on the subject of lawn sign theft, I abhor the action of lawn sign theft by anyone. People have the right to display their opinion on the issues and since not everyone wants to have their opinion displayed, it is always appreciated when residents will allow a lawn sign displayed. The lawn signs are expensive and it requires a lot of time and effort to get them delivered to residents who want them. I have had to literally replace dozens of stolen “No on Nishi” lawn signs myself already. Most of these sign replacements were at the request of the residents angry that their signs were stolen and asking for a new “NO” sign as soon as possible. Also, the “No on Nishi” signs have been particularly disappearing on the main thoroughfares where they can been viewed the most, not on less frequently driven roads.

    So anyone who is responsible for any of the lawn sign theft, it is simply wrong and no one should do it.  I agree that it is a freedom of speech issue, and people should not be denied their ability to express their opinion on how they are going to vote.

    1. Tia Will

      Eileen

      yet there has been no coverage of the massive theft of “No on Nishi” reports for weeks.”

      While I agree with your overall message of dislike of removal of lawn signs regardless of the perpetrator, I take exception to your statement that there has been no coverage of this on the Vanguard.

      There have been numerous posts on numerous threads about removal of lawn signs. The fact that there has not been an article about it, or clip demonstrating it is choice of those who are not submitting these items for publication by the Vanguard. I am quite sure if you had a clip demonstrating ( or even claiming to demonstrate) removal of No on Nishi signs, that David would publish it as well.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Yes, and previously they were labeled by David Greenwald as “silly.”  This “incident” (whatever it is – and no one seems to have any idea, only speculations on all sides) gets no such label.  I’d call that slanted reporting.  And what is the point of this post – what does it serve?  Look at the discussion generated on this page – is any of it useful?  Does any of it benefit the City?  Feh.

    2. ryankelly

      Eileen, you are not just digging the hole deeper, but you seem to be digging to China.   There is no benefit to complaining about lawn signs.  I suggested that you leave this alone last week, but you seem to think that this an important part of the campaign.  I’d back away and stop the conspiracy theories. It doesn’t look good.

    3. AnEcho

      This is hilarious given the fact that a major property management company in town which is infamous for being shady has been letting the No on A put campaign signs on the residences of college students who presumably would oppose this naked NIMBYism by the lilywhite geriatric rent seekers who back the No vote.

  11. Fred

    I guarantee it is one of the Spafford and Lincoln operatives. Its hard to tell from this video, but I think I saw her tabling at the Farmers Market yesterday FOR A! What a joke stealing their own signs. I guess they can afford it.

        1. Fred

          Right? I mean there are a couple of possibilities

          1) the Spafford Kids had no idea they were being filmed and it was a complete coincidence.

          2) the Spafford kids were told to steal the signs on Montgomery by someone that new there was a camera at Pontillo’s house.

          3) the Spafford kids knew they were being filmed

    1. Tia Will

      Fred

      Curious. You go directly from “I guarantee” to “it’s hard to tell”. I don’t think that I would accept this “guarantee” if I were considering buying a product from you.

      1. HouseFlipper

        Are you trying to say the campaign is coordinating this? Because I don’t know if I buy that. It seems more likely that the Spafford kids are doing it on their own.

  12. Nancy Price

    May be the signs were taken by disaffected “Yes On A” hired UCD and highschool students  who’ve finally seen the light and were out for some pranks.

    1. Fred

      I think your probably right. Its Spafford and Lincoln that’s hiring them to work on A, and they can’t seem to get enough. they are constantly advertising for more. from what I have heard its not a very fun job for most of the Spafford kids so maybe there is big turnover.

  13. Yes on A Fan

    This should have been posted under your last article titled silly sign season; or something like that–despite it being systematic. I noticed a similar facebook post about Yes signs constantly being ravaged along G Street near 7th- that is a very dangerous location if you are a Yes on A sign; very silly indeed. Agree with Eileen, leave all signs alone: Yes, No and Whatever

  14. Tia Will

    Gee !  I have a really novel idea. Why don’t we just ask Ted how, from whom and under what circumstances he obtained the video ?  Or are we just having too much fun speculating about what might have happened ?

    1. Ron

      Tia:  “Or are we just having too much fun speculating about what might have happened?”

      I don’t think this is a “fun” concern, for either side.  However, I would like to note that sign-stealing would probably hurt the “No” side more, since their funds are so much more limited (and their campaign cannot afford to keep replacing signs).

      Really stupid, to steal signs from anyone.  Does anyone believe that this helps “their side”?

      1. Tia Will

        Roberta

        is any of it useful?”

        Harmless entertainment on a Sunday afternoon as Napoleon implied as far as I can see…and yet here we all are. I’m taking a break from yearly Board Review Articles, how about you ?

        Ron

        I in no way mean to imply that the issue of inhibiting the free speech rights of others is not a serious issue. I was referring only the lighthearted comments of some posters….Detective Frankly, Blair Witch watchers and Sasquatch hunters to name a few. For me, since there are no known facts, speculation is nothing but a way to pass a lazy Sunday.

        1. Ron

          Tia:  Noted and agreed.  (Also, I liked Alan’s “Blair Witch Project” reference.)

          But, I still suspect that sign-stealing is a more serious issue for the “No” side (in particular), in light of their limited funds.

          Regarding signs in general, I’m not sure how effective they are (other than to raise awareness that there’s a controversy, and that some are passionate enough to post a sign).  Perhaps it invites voters to more carefully examine the real issues and concerns (and to question sources of funding for campaigns).

          Unfortunately, it appears that well-funded campaigns are able to sway some voters.  (Unless these campaigns are simply choosing to “waste money”, without any effect.)

    2. hpierce

      Looks to me that it was captured by Ted’s fixed home security camera, and when he noticed his lawn sign was gone, probably the next day, he reviewed “the tapes”, and this is an excerpt of that… but conspiracy theories are more fun, right?

  15. Eileen Samitz

    Tia,

    While Ted apparently is “Yes on Measure A”, I was not suggesting Ted’s pro-active participation in this interestingly timed “event” for the “Yes on Measure A” campaign. But Ted apparently has a surveillance camera on his property and has posted this very “timely event” for the “Yes on Measure A” side. However, you seem quite defensive of how this video evolved, which is rather disappointing. Since you are a Vanguard Board member and “Yes” on Measure A, I understand how it would be difficult for you to be objective.

    But on your previous posting:

    I am quite sure if you had a clip demonstrating ( or even claiming to demonstrate) removal of No on Nishi signs, that David would publish it as well.

    I mean Tia, really…

    The citizen-based “No on Nishi” campaign would not consider doing something SO calculated and SO Machiavellian, as “staging” a lawn sign theft. But the “Yes on Measure A” campaign clearly has the money, resources, and motivation to try to manufacture whatever false information they want to, and as they have been, such as in their literature. I am just so disappointed that you would suggest such a thing.

     

    1. Tia Will

      Eileen

      you seem quite defensive of how this video evolved, which is rather disappointing.”

      Disappointing to point out the obvious ?

      I fail to see anything defensive at all about pointing out the simple fact that we know essentially nothing about this video other than who submitted it. How is it defensive to suggest that the simplest manner to get more information on its provenance would be to ask the individual who posted it ?

      Speaking of defensiveness, I never suggested that you or anyone on the “No” side would do such a thing. I merely pointed out that if such a tape existed and were submitted, David would have posted it. How you see that as an attack on you escapes me.

  16. Eileen Samitz

    Tia,

    What is not “obvious” is how did this video targeting the “No on Nishi” side evolved with such calculated timing relative to the vote in 10 days and such convenient access to “surveillance” video? This reaks of the high stakes of big developer money overreaching, yet again to get their way on multi-millions they stand to make.

    The lawn sign theft and the obvious outreach by “Yes on Measure A” to manipulate the UCD students is astonishing, much like “pizza-gate” during the Covell Village Measure X vote when developer partner John Whitcombe (also a partner in Nishi Gateway) had their campaign trying to trade “Yes on Measure X” votes for pizza from UCD students. Thank heavens the Yolo Elections office came down on this outrageous tactic by the same developer we are dealing with with Nishi Gateway.

    1. hpierce

      Hadn’t read your ~ 12:40 post when I posted… I agree the nature of the camera, location, and who made it available is pretty damn obvious.  It’s even time and date stamped.

      Only question that could remain is why Ted shared it with Jim/Vanguard/whatever… and I really don’t think that is a pertinent question except that sign-stealing and/or sign-planting is more than a bit childish, and will not affect the vote outcome at all… if people are swayed by lawn signs, I’d rather they don’t vote at all… too stupid.

  17. Tia Will

    Eileen

    To me when something is not “obvious” then the most reasonable approach is to ask for more information, not make assumptions. That was and remains my sole point.

  18. Misanthrop

    The absurdity of speculating one side or the other is responsible without knowing who did it and why says more about the commenters making the conclusions than anything else. Samitz’s speculations about calculated timing are particularly offensive as are her ridiculous assertions that the no side is capable of such an act but the yes side isn’t. If such conjecture came from an anonymous poster it would be bad enough but for someone to make them under their own name is shocking.

  19. Eileen Samitz

    Misanthrop,

    For someone who constantly posts diatribes like yourself, yet unwilling to reveal your real name says a lot. Your postings are probably the most offensive chronically on this blog, but then you try to project that accusation towards me. Nice try. Given the constant attacks on on “No on Nishi” side like this ridiculous “video” article, gives me and anyone else who also recognizes this chronic trend, the right to respond to it. If you want to insult others, at least have the courage to let us know who you are, rather than hiding behind your anonymous postings. What is shocking is how you seem to thrive on your condescending postings towards anyone who disagrees with you.

    1. Matt Williams

      Eileen, the real name of Misanthrop is as well kept a secret as the real name of Frankly.  As a result the argument you put forward here is moot (or “mute” as Frankly would say).

      With that said, your final sentence is ironic. In many, many ways you and Misanthrop are Janus Twins. Your respective passionate embrace of your respective positions produces much the same behavior pattern, despite the fact that those positions are at opposite ends of the land use spectrum from one another.

      1. Barack Palin

        Well, I know who Frankly is but have no real idea who Misanthrope is.  (I do have my suspicions)

        So Matt, I would have to say that it’s a more well kept secret than Frankly’s real name.

        1. Matt Williams

          BP, you are describing “a difference in name only.”  More is a relative term.  I suspect (but do not know) that there are Vanguard readers who know who Misanthrop is, but do not know who Frankly is.

          JMHO

          The real point of my post is that Misanthrop and Eileen are mirror images of each other.

    2. Misanthrop

      “The citizen-based “No on Nishi” campaign would not consider doing something SO calculated and SO Machiavellian, as “staging” a lawn sign theft. But the “Yes on Measure A” campaign clearly has the money, resources, and motivation to try to manufacture whatever false information they want to, and as they have been, such as in their literature. I am just so disappointed that you would suggest such a thing.”

      Let me clarify what I find so objectionable about this comment. It says that the no side isn’t capable of having two people who would get in a car and drive around late at night and grab a bunch of lawn signs. Now whether or not No on A or anyone involved with the campaign is responsible is beside the point the argument that No on A is not capable of doing so is simply absurd especially when you at the same time argue Yes on A has such capability. There is another possibility, that two people, not connected to either campaign, in a car late at night simply decided to grab a bunch of lawn signs as a prank or because they are sick of seeing them or perhaps they just read “The Monkey Wrench Game” in an English class.

      The fact of the matter is we don’t know who did it and until we do nobody should be speculating about the motive of the perps. However, the rational that the No on A people are not capable of driving up in a car and taking a lawn sign might be because of the advanced age of the average No on A campaigner.

    1. Matt Williams

      I’m not sure what I said that was disparaging?

      That you and Misanthrop are both passionate?

      Or that your passions are at opposite ends of the spectrum?

      1. Ron

        Matt:  “I’m not sure what I said that was disparaging?”

        What were you referring to, when you said that Eileen and Misanthrop are “Janus Twins”, and that they have “much the same behavior pattern”?  Depending on one’s point of view, this might be interpreted as a negative comment toward either (or both) individuals. Regardless, I’m not sure that it leads to any valuable insight or contribution.

        1. Matt Williams

          Ron, in Roman mythology Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, and endings.
           
          Janus is usually depicted as having twin faces, looking to the future and to the past.  

          Janus presided over both the beginning and ending of conflict. The doors of the Temple of Janus were open in time of war, and then closed when war ended and peace was achieved.
           

  20. Marina Kalugin

    Hey Eileen, you know I love you to death and you and I have been on the same page of so many issues over so many decades…..  emotions run high and people take offense….sometimes people know just enough to feel offended…

    Matt is a really great guy…the more I get to know him the more I like him.

    I never find a single person with whom I agree with on all topics…

    The most stupid topic these days which has people obsessed is this Nishi business…..

    Vote Matt and enjoy the day all.

    PS. NO on A NO on NIshi and vote for the “underdogs”…they will care and they will be the ones who make things better or die trying… RIP Julie Partansky

    someone very close to me is named Dexter….a not very typical name..

    and, not used much in decades until the popular show of the name…I have never watched it…who has time for TV>

    Dexter was a twin …the good twin….and so is my loved one…

    there is a lot to learn from mythology….I relate to David and Goliath myself..

    Have a good day all.

     

  21. The Pugilist

    Alan Pryor: if you’re alleging conspiracy, why would the Vanguard print a damaging story to the No side on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend if they were trying to harm the campaign?

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for