Dunlap school board candidate being targeted

By Alyssa Donovan

March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- As the April 9 General Election nears, frustration is growing for one Dunlap school board candidate.

Jason Hauer is one of four candidates for the Dunlap School board. All four have had campaign signs stolen but none as many as Hauer. He has had almost 200 signs stolen on two separate occasions.

“I'd really like to find out who is taking my signs and I feel nervous with people going through our neighborhoods, going across private property and stealing," said Hauer.

On Friday night, almost 100 of Hauer's signs were removed from yards and public areas.

“We do have some video that's being viewed by the police right now. It's trying to be enhanced a bit so we can try to get a license plate or a picture of the person that actually stole the signs," he said.

In many cases, the thieves are taking Hauer's right off of the metal sticks that hold them in the ground, and leaving the other candidate's alone.

Peoria City and Peoria County Police are working together since the thefts have taken place in both of their jurisdictions.

Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy said a misdemeanor theft like this can really add up.

"I think it's about $400 and its punishable up to a year in prison or jail for some of the offenses. And obviously the higher you go in the dollar items. Signs are $4 each they get to be expensive pretty quick," said Sheriff McCoy.

Sheriff McCoy said no individual has the authority to remove the signs.

“It's a lot of work to put signs up when you pound them in at night and you pay for them and you have a right if you put them up in the right places to have them stay there," he said.

Although Hauer has been able to replace some of his signs, he still wants to find the culprits.

That is why he is offering a $500 reward to anyone that has any information that leads to an arrest.