Stolen campaign signs spark controversy in Puyallup council race

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- The Puyallup City Council race is heating up, but not over the issues.

Instead, the focus is on disappearing campaign signs. One candidate is pointing the finger at the other, claiming he has surveillance video showing the thefts.

The race is between Chris McNutt and Julie Door. McNutt says his campaign signs are disappearing fast, and he says Door's campaign is to blame.

In an effort to find out what happened to his 184 missing campaign signs, McNutt's followers set up a video trap.

"Some supporters ended up getting some cameras and trying to stake out some of the positions where they've been stolen quite frequently," McNutt said.

The video shows someone taking signs, and McNutt believes the culprit is a Door supporter.

"This person to me matches the description of the daughter of one of my opponent's biggest supporters," he said.

Another shot captures a man who McNutt claims has just stolen one of the surveillance cameras. There's also a photo of former Councilman Kent Boyle -- a Door supporter -- taking a photo of McNutt's campaign signs.

"At this point it's suspicious that he pulls up and the signs go missing a little while later," McNutt said.

Door denies any wrongdoing, and the police back her up. They do not believe Door's supporter took the signs.

"She denies involvement, and the detective also believes that there are some differences in appearance that we cannot definitively say it is her," said Capt. Scott Engle with the Puyallup Police Department.

Police believe Boyle was taking photos of the signs because they were attached to trees.

"There are no absolutely no pictures of him doing anything wrong," Engle said.

In fact, Door said she's had campaign signs stolen, and she said she also has video evidence of the theft. While she doesn't know who's responsible for the thefts, she doesn't believe it's McNutt.

"He's trying to run an honest campaign. I'm trying to run an honest campaign and focus on the issues. I think that this is outside forces that neither of us can control," she said.