East Peoria commissioner puts bounty on people who damage, steal political signs

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — An East Peoria commissioner is offering a $200 reward to turn in people that steal or vandalize political signs in East Peoria just two weeks before Election Day.

At last night’s city council meeting, Commissioner Michael Sutherland said he wants people to stop taking and destroying political signs, and he’s willing to pay.

“I’ve heard complaints and not through the official thing, just my friends and stuff,” said Sutherland.

East Peoria Interim Police Chief Rich Brodrick said it’s common for signs to be taken.

“I think it’s more mischief than it is actual political pressuring,” said Brodrick.

Sutherland is taking matters into his own hands to incentivize people to do the right thing.

“People shouldn’t go by in your yard and take what doesn’t belong to them,” said Sutherland.

Sutherland encouraged people to reach out to the East Peoria Police Department to turn people in. Brodrick said it was the first he had heard of it.

“That is something that is entirely from the commissioner. That has nothing to do with the police and nothing to do with the city,” said Brodrick.

Sutherland said he doesn’t care if it’s a Trump or a Biden sign, he just wants people to be respectful.

“Not asking for anything vigilante, just the opposite,” said Sutherland.

Brodrick said people could face criminal damage, criminal defacement, and trespassing charges.

“It’s very minor charges, but it ultimately comes down to somebody is taking or damaging someone else’s property,” said Brodrick.

Brodrick said if your signs are taken or damaged, you can call the East Peoria Police Department. He said they’ll follow procedures in the case.

He also said people should respect other people’s opinions and property.

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