Reward offered in sign theft case

Island County Commissioner’s campaign manager is offering a reward related to sign theft.

Island County Commissioner Melanie Bacon’s reelection campaign manager is offering a $1,000 reward related to a political sign theft incident.

Michael Neff, Bacon’s husband and campaign manager, said someone stole her signs across the island, from Clinton to Oak Harbor, on the night of May 20. It appeared that only her signs were targeted.

“They swept through the whole island, like a maniac,” Neff said.

Neff stressed that the money for the reward will come from his own pocket, not from donations.

Bacon, a Democrat, is running for reelection as the District 1 commissioner. She faces Republican Wanda Grone, Republican Steven Myres and Democrat Marie Shimada in the Aug. 6 primary.

While shenanigans involving signs are common every political season, it’s rare for only one candidate to be targeted, especially in one fell swoop, he pointed out.

It’s even rarer for a campaign to offer a reward.

Neff said that a large sign in a prominent site in Clinton had been ripped from the frame, leaving little pieces behind. He said the property owner is now scared, since the thief trespassed on the land in the middle of the night, and doesn’t want the sign replaced.

“Now we’re lost a prime spot,” he said.

Neff checked with county road shop and the Oak Harbor Public Works Department and found that they had not taken any signs down. He said he spoke with officers from the Oak Harbor Police Department and the Island County Sheriff’s Office and they agreed it was an unusual incident.

In all, the Bacon campaign lost more than 20 signs worth hundreds of dollars.

According to the Island County Prosecutor’s Office, removing or defacing political yard signs is a misdemeanor crime under RCW 29A.84.040. Each separate defacement or removal constitutes a separate violation.

Neff said the reward is for the “accurate” identity of the person responsible for the sign theft. He said he is concerned that someone is trying to interfere with an election, plus placing signs is a lot of work.

“Someone who drove up and down the island, ripping up sign after sign isn’t going to stop,” he said.

Anyone with information about the sign theft can contact Neff at