Political sign thief pays his dues

From the desk of court reporter Paris Achen:

The 66-year-old Vancouver man who gained YouTube infamy last summer after he was captured on camera in a florescent yellow bicycle getup swiping a Republican precinct committee candidate’s sign and tossing it in some bushes has apparently paid his dues to society.

John Ellis-Reisdorf was accepted into a diversion program Nov. 1 in Clark County District Court to pay for his crime. He has already completed his eight hours of community service in the court’s diversion program, which dismisses charges in exchange for community service and staying out of trouble for a year, said Vancouver’s City Prosecutor Kevin McClure. He also was charged $485 to pay for the cost of processing his case in court, McClure said. As long as he stays crime-free until November 2013, the misdemeanor charges of removing or defacing a political advertisement will be dismissed.

This is how Ellis-Reisdorf was brought to justice:

Members of the PCO Liberty Alliance were fed up with their candidate Lynda Wilson’s signs vanishing. They set up a camera pointed directly at a sign posted on Northeast 164th Avenue to trap the sign-stealing rascal.

Former congressional candidate David Hedrick caught him snagging the sign on his bike as he rode by. Hedrick chased down the thief in his car and, while still filming, called out the window: “What’s wrong with Lynda Wilson as a PCO? Maybe she’s too conservative? Maybe the establishment doesn’t like her?”

“Go (expletive) yourself,” the man responded.

Hedrick then discovered a stash of signs, which “can only be described as a graveyard where conservative signs go to die,” he said in the video.

Here’s a screen shot of Ellis-Reisdorf from the video:


Hedrick retrieved the signs and returned them to Wilson, who put them back up. But apparently the thief “brazenly returned” to steal the signs again.

The PCO Liberty Alliance handed over the video and other information to police, who contacted the man and took a report.

Ellis-Reisdorf told investigators the theft was not politically motivated; the sign was placed illegally. That was the case for the sign featured on YouTube but not the other signs he had stolen.

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