Suspects Charged in Campaign Sign Theft Caper

Three Remain to be Charged

(Bel Air, Md. - September 1, 2006) — The Harford County Sheriff's Office has charged one juvenile and four of seven adult suspects in connection with the theft and malicious destruction of property of campaign signs throughout the county. The crime was reported to the Sheriff’s Office shortly before 7:00 a.m. on August 15, 2006.

Various political campaign signs were stolen from locations along Md. Rt. 543, Md. Rt. 22, Md. Rt. 155 and Prospect Mill Road. Suspects then transported the signs to the Stone Ridge development off Md. Rt. 543 where they were thrown into a community pond. Nearly 300 signs belonging to candidates for public office including Governor; Harford County Executive; Harford County Council President; Harford County Council; Sheriff; and House of Delegates were among those damaged or destroyed.

Charged thus far are Gregory Mitchell Coudon, 18 of Bel Air; Matthew Overton Kent, 18, of Abingdon; Adam Joseph Devine, 19 of Bel Air; and Andrew William Smith, 18 also of Bel Air. The suspects have been charged with theft over $500 and malicious destruction of property. The four adults and juvenile remain free pending trial.

Charges are pending against three adults, including one from the Perryville area of Cecil County.

The suspects allegedly stole the campaign signs and then discarded them in the Stone Ridge community pond as part of a scavenger hunt they concocted.

Signs which were salvaged from the pond were returned to the respective candidates.

Press Release

September 01, 2006