Report of campaign sign theft in Clarkston leads to arrest warrant for candidate

Candidate Dean Moore, left, filed a police report that led to a warrant being issued against Larry McClam, right.

This story has been updated. 

Clarkston, GA — The Nov. 2 election in Clarkston just got hotter after the Police Department accused one candidate of stealing the campaign signs of another candidate.

The case stems from a report made by candidate Dean Moore regarding theft of his campaign signs. The Police Department has obtained a warrant against the accused, candidate Larry McClam, on a charge of theft by taking. But McClam maintains he is innocent and asked that Clarkston Police release the video footage that allegedly proves his guilt.

“The bottom line is, everybody is innocent until proven guilty,” McClam told the Tucker Observer. “Unfortunately, sometimes you’re guilty until proven innocent. I’m just looking forward to pleading my case. I never imagined you’d take all these resources off the street to get into a political race with no concrete proof. It’s important for this campaign for people to know the truth.”

Moore said he did not know who the potential suspect might be when he filed the police report.

“I had a sign placed on Aug. 23 or 24 at a local business,” Moore said. “That one sign disappeared. I put two signs in its place on Sept. 4. Within 24 hours, they were gone. I went to the police station to ask them to investigate. I filed a police report about my stolen signs. ”

According to the police report, Moore placed the signs outside an auto repair shop at 3611 Church Street with the permission of the property owner. He told officers when he drove by the next day, the signs were gone.

According to the police officer who wrote the report, “After speaking with Mr. Moore, I went to the auto repair shop to review any available surveillance footage. The surveillance footage showed that the theft occurred on Sept. 5, 2021, just before 6:45 a.m. In the footage, a black SUV-style vehicle is seen pulling to the side of the Auto Repair Shop, and an unidentifiable subject exits the vehicle, and then takes the two signs planted in the ground and puts them in the backseat of the SUV.

“When the vehicle drives away from the location after making a left onto Church Street it appears that the SUV has equipment affixed to the roof and has written reflective graphics on the side similar to a patrol vehicle. A case number was generated to document the incident and was provided to the victim. The mechanic at the auto repair shop was unable to download the footage, so I took a screen recording of the images and added it to the media files of this report.”

McClam said he used to work for the Clarkston Police Department and believes that played a role in the department’s decision to charge him.

“We don’t have the best relationship,” McClam said.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, McClam is a police sergeant in Riverdale and he is alleged to have placed the signs in his patrol vehicle.

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