A Troy man may face charges after he illegally removed five yard signs Tuesday afternoon from the corner of East Long Lake and Rochester Roads.
The 62-year-old man was removing several Recall Janice Daniels yard signs from the Meadowbrook Plaza shopping center when a recall supporter confronted him.* Per Patch policy, the man's name is not being published unless he is charged.
“We’ve been doing stakeouts," Recall Janice Daniels co-founder John Kulesz said. "They’ve been disappearing as quickly as five minutes after we put them up."
Kulesz, who was not one of the two individuals watching the signs on Tuesday, said the man "pulled up and started taking our lawn signs down and throwing them in the trunk of the car.”
"The signs were legally placed," Troy Police Capt. Robert Redmond said Wednesday. "We took a police report. It will be turned over to the city attorney’s office for review."
"We will pursue that as we would any other request for a criminal charge,” Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm said Wednesday, adding they must determine if there is enough evidence to proceed. “We want to look at this fairly quickly."
According to the police report, the man told Troy officers he had graduated from the Troy Citizens' Police Academy this spring, during which he said he was told by Paul Evans, Troy Zoning & Compliance Specialist for the City of Troy, that private citizens could remove illegally-placed signs. He added he thought the signs were placed within 20 feet of city property, "so he removed them."
However, Evans told officers he "has never given permission to anyone to remove signs on city property," according to the police report. In Troy, trained volunteers who are authorized to remove signs do so in pairs, he said.
Earlier this month, both Recall Janice Daniels and No Troy Recall supporters reported signs being taken from yards across Troy. Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer said in an Oct. 9 interview with Patch that those caught stealing the signs or possessing stolen signs could face a misdemeanor charge, which can include up to 90 days in jail as well as a fine.
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*We originally reported that both recall supporters watching the signs had confronted the man; however, just one of the recall supporters confronted the man.