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Thursday, October 14, 2004 - Page updated at 02:41 P.M.
Men save signs for Bush in stakeout
By Ashley Bach
According to two Mercer Island men, signs supporting President Bush are an endangered species. Within days of going up in the affluent neighborhood, the signs disappear.
So there the men were this week, camped in the dark woods with lawn chairs and a video camera, waiting for the thieves to strike.
It only took three hours. At about 10 p.m. Tuesday, a 25-year-old Mercer Island man walked to a grassy area along the 6700 block of Island Crest Way and began to pull up Bush signs installed by the two men, police said.
The amateur detectives burst out of the woods and confronted the man, who was apologetic. The men detained him until police arrived.
The man was arrested and released on suspicion of third-degree theft, a misdemeanor, said Mercer Island police Sgt. Lance Davenport.
The two Bush supporters said they set up the stakeout after 60 of their signs were stolen on the island last week. One of the men, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals by Kerry supporters, said the anti-Bush sentiment in the neighborhood is extreme and angry.
"They're entirely within their rights to protect their investment and make sure their views are protected," said Ross Marzolf, executive director of the King County Republican Party, which gave the men new signs.
The men had bought 60 signs for $350 through the Bush campaign Web site and put them up last week. A day later the signs were gone, and a handful of other signs put up over the next several days also disappeared, the men said.
So the men and another friend headed into the woods, about 25 yards away from several new signs. The friend soon bailed out, but the other two men stayed behind and expected to wait most of the night.
"They had just gotten sick of dealing with the [thefts]," Davenport said. "They had had enough."
Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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