Scott Jamaal Trinidad was caught on surveillance video allegedly taking signs from outside an office building in Burbank. He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, March 25 on suspicion of petty theft. Chuck Henry reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.
A man who was caught on video allegedly stealing campaign signs in Burbank was reportedly scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
The Burbank City Attorney’s Office has charged Scott Jamaal Trinidad with petty theft after allegedly taking signs that support Burbank School Board candidate Charlene Tabet, according to Burbank N Beyond, a news website covering Burbank. Trinidad, a volunteer for rival candidate Steve Ferguson, allegedly took the signs from the lawn of an office in the 12000 block of West Magnolia Boulevard in February.
After surveillance video of the incident was released, Ferguson apologized for the wrongdoing in a statement to Burbank N Beyond.
“I have taken corrective action within my campaign to ensure that this never happens again – it does not reflect who I am as a candidate or the mission of my campaign,” Ferguson wrote.
Incidents involving campaign signs are normal during election season, said Zizette Mullins, Burbank City Clerk.
“This is not unique at all, and it happens in all cities,” Mullins told NBC4. “There are always those people who are supporting one [candidate] or the other and they just like to feel like they’re empowered to take other signs.”
Mullins -- who was appointed as Burbank’s city clerk in 2012 after the then city clerk retired -- is on the ballot for the upcoming city clerk election, and said she has experienced sign theft as a candidate.
“I’ve had my signs put on certain property and the next day, I drive by and see my opponent’s sign on that property,” said Mullins.
Signage theft isn't limited to specific candidates; even reminder-to-vote signs from the city have been stolen, Mullins said.
"There are signs being taken from properties all over every single day," Mullins said.
The city clerk's office receives one or two calls each week about signs being stolen, Mullins said. The city encourages people to report such incidents to the police.