Hundreds of campaign signs stolen from mayoral candidates in San Jose

With the November election just weeks away, thieves have recently been caught on camera stealing campaign signs belonging to a candidate for mayor in San Jose. 

Now, both candidates are reporting hundreds of campaign signs stolen just in the last few weeks.   

Stolen campaign signs were also an issue for San Jose district candidates back in May. Now sign thefts are up again, and the candidates say it’s hurting the political process.  

As a candidate for San Jose’s next mayor, Matt Mahan says hundreds of his campaign signs are being removed for people’s yards and private property.  

"It’s expensive but more importantly, it scares people out of the political process," Mahan said.   

His campaign released videos showing someone taking down a Mahan banner and video of someone taking away his sign in the wee hours of the morning late last month. He believes it’s an organized plan to keep people divided.  

"I think we all want to live in a city where we can respectfully disagree, but it never should lead to property theft or intimidation which is what this is bordering on," Mahan said.  

Van Le, who was a candidate in San Jose’s District 7 race, told KTVU in May she too had to repeatedly replace her campaign signs during the race.  

""This is not like one time, but at least some of them, this is like two or three times. So I feel that someone did not want my name out there and didn’t want me to win this election or whatever," Le said.   

Cindy Chavez, Mahan’s opponent in the race for San Jose mayor, says hundreds of her campaign signs have also been stolen. She says people have always taken signs during previous campaigns, but recently the theft has increased.  

"For a lot of supporters, they feel like their voice is being robbed. Also, it’s kind of invasive to have someone take something off of your lawn and steal it," Chavez said.   

Chavez says her campaign hasn’t made any police reports but just hopes people will lean into the political process and still vote. 

"Give everyone an opportunity to support whoever it is that they support. You don’t need to take people’s lawn signs, or damage them or break them. It shouldn’t be an accepted part of campaigning," Chavez said.  

Mahan says he has contacted police and if they’re able to identify anyone in the videos, they’ll hold those people accountable. In the meantime, both candidates continue campaigning for the November election.