Caught on camera: Candidate 'disturbed' by woman stealing election sign

In broad daylight, a woman is captured on security camera footage taking a Liberal election sign from the front lawn of a home in south Windsor.

It happened Monday afternoon near the intersection of Northwood Street and Dominion Boulevard, according to former city councillor Al Maghneh, who security camera footage of the incident on social media.

Maghneh couldn't believe someone would remove an election sign so brazenly, so he asked the woman what she was doing.

"She said, 'We're starting with the cleanup of the small signs first,'" Maghnieh told CBC News, adding he explained that election day wasn't until Oct. 21.

'I want my signs back'

In this case, the taken sign featured Windsor West Liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello.

Her campaign team confirmed they haven't directed anyone to remove election signs while the campaign is still ongoing.

"I feel pretty disturbed because I know that we're spending peoples' money who donated to my campaign and I just think it's awful that they would just take them," Pupatello said.

Pupatello said Windsor police have been notified of the sign's removal.

Her team also has video of the incident, as well as a license plate and the make and model of the vehicle believed to belong to person who removed the sign.

"Frankly, I want my signs back," said Pupatello, who's received reports of other signs that were taken or have gone missing.

Other candidates experience sign theft, vandalism 

Pupatello isn't the only candidate in Windsor West working through missing or vandalized signs.

The campaign manager for NDP candidate Brian Masse said some of his signs were "cut up" on Dominion Boulevard, while others have also gone missing.

For Windsor West Conservative candidate Henry Lau, however, things have been relatively "respectful."

Lau's spokesperson said there haven't been any missing or vandalized election signs brought to the campaign's attention.

Al Maghnieh

Nonetheless, the issue of election vandalism isn't local to Windsor.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington Liberal candidate Katie Omstead had some of her signs destroyed as well.

Since the election began, Essex County OPP has received "a number of complaints" about vandalism to candidates' signs on residential properties in Kingsville and Leamington.

Police are warning the public that anyone found damaging or removing election signs can be charged under the Criminal Code.

There are also regulations under the Canada Elections Act that prevent individuals from interfering with election advertising messages of any sort.