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Caught on camera – alleged “sign snatcher” arrested

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - "Sign snatchers" are a common complaint to local law enforcement every election cycle. This year we have something unique; someone stealing a sign caught on video.

One local says when his signs were targeted he took action, entering into a game of cat and mouse with the person he’s accused of stealing them.

"The people that I'm running against and other candidates, we've all (had) get signs stolen or taken, vandalized," said candidate for Bonneville County commissioner Barrett Hillier. "And it's an unfortunate thing."

When Hillier’s campaign signs were stolen, he did what anyone would do. He made a call to law enforcement.

“It's not an uncommon thing," Bonneville County Sheriff Sgt. Bryan Lovell explained. "It's something that happens every election cycle that comes around and we investigate those, just like we would any other piece of vandalism."

But as a former detective, Hillier did some digging himself. By sifting through surveillance footage from nearby businesses, he says he eventually found a suspect, Brenton Wilcox.

“I dealt with him as a police officer, and I have a history with him," Hillier said. "That's why I do believe that he specifically targeted me in this situation.”

When he saw an opportunity, Hillier set a trap for the culprit, setting a sign as bait and capturing the entire thing on camera.

In response, Wilcox was arrested and has been released on bail.

We tried to contact him to hear his side of the story, and luckily he pulled up right as Local News 8 knocked on his door.

He didn't want to go on camera, but did say he had "no idea who Hillier was" and he "had only picked up a campaign sign from the side of the road."

We've also been reaching out to the other candidates in the Bonneville County Commissioner race - Alan Steel, Debra Haacke and Michelle Mallard - to see if they've had signs stolen as well.

"A lot of time and effort and money gets put into campaigning and signs, and I don't wish that upon any candidate," Hillier said.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Politics

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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