FORNEY, Texas — Kaufman County Precinct 2 Constable Jason Johnson says a man was caught red-handed stealing and disposing of home builder signs in the Devonshire neighborhood of northwestern Kaufman County — this following the deployment of cameras and an approximate week-long investigation.
55-year-old Frank Preston Caplett, a Devonshire resident, was arrested early Friday morning on a charge of theft of property greater than or equal to $2,500 and less than $30,000, a state-jail felony.
Caplett, in admitting to stealing and disposing of the signs, told police the signs were an eyesore to the community, were not HOA approved, and devalued nearby properties, Johnson told inForney.com. Caplett however, was not a representative of the HOA or developer.
Many of the signs had been dismantled or destroyed and discarded in drainage ditches or the trash, according to Johnson. Some were recovered from Caplett's garage. Caplett told police he lost count of how many signs he had removed.
The developer began noticing the signs missing several weeks ago and attempted to set up game cameras to capture the culprit. The images were too grainy for investigators to identify a suspect so the Precinct 2 Constable's Office began monitoring signs placed throughout the neighborhood and deployed cameras of their own that allowed for a notification and rapid response of deputies.
This morning, around 4:30 a.m., deputies were notified with a video alert of a yet to be identified man walking up to some signs, pulling them up, and walking out of frame.
Precinct 2 deputies responded and caught Caplett just as he disposed of the signs, Johnson says.
Caplett was booked into the Kaufman County Jail where he remains jailed Friday night on a $5,000 bond.