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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Black Lives Matter signs stolen from Waterloo homes

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL)- For the second weekend in a row, KWWL viewers reported someone stole a Black Lives Matter signs from their front yards.

Danael Zilk caught it on his house's surveillance camera early Saturday morning. Just after 3 a.m., a man with his shirt pulled over his face can be seen stealing a sign and running off with it.

Zilk said he was awake at the time and heard it happen, but didn't think anything of it.

"I just thought it was one of the neighbors leaving for work," he said. "I didn't know someone dared to come up into my yard and steal something."

For Zilk, it is not just about the theft of the sign.

"We were taught in Kindergarten to leave other people's things alone unless they are willing to share it with you," he said. "I didn't put it out there to share. I put it out there because it is something that I care deeply about."

Zilk called what happened a disgusting way to treat other people.

"We learned all these lessons on how to get along with each other when we were children," he said. "Yet as adults, we have to fight and steal because we don't agree with the message this guy has. It is ridiculous."

On the weekend of July 4th, several KWWL viewers reported Black Lives Matter signs were stolen from their property.

One of them, Cody Leistikow also captured the theft on a home surveillance camera. Similar to Zilk, it happened just before 3:30 a.m. on July Fourth.

In that video, you can see a car pull up to the house, and a person jumps out to steal the sign before the car speeds away.

Leistikow said he noticed it was gone when he was mowing his lawn the next day. He purposely put the sign near a security camera because he thought there was a chance it could get stolen.

"With it being kind of a controversial message, I decided I should put it in front of my security cameras," he said.

Both men say they know several other people who have had signs stolen, but don't know anyone else got it on video.

"Because of the quality of the video, you couldn't identify anything out of it," Leistikow said. "I figured I would contribute to the fact that if there was a continuing trend in our community, I want it to stop."

In November 2017, Leistikow ran for the Ward 5 seat on Waterloo's City Council. During the campaign, he said he had around 200 political signs out and about. Damaged or missing political signs are not unusual, but he said this feels different.

"It happens, people, kids, especially around Halloween time in election years a lot of signs disappear," he said. "I did not feel the same thing that I felt when someone targeted that particular sign. I felt like it was a lot more hateful than I don't agree with that political candidate or whatever."

Both men said they had contacted the Waterloo Police Department about their stolen signs.

KWWL viewers have also reported Trump campaign signs have been taken from their front yards in recent weeks. Some of them have also reported the theft to police.

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Daniel Perreault


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