Vancouver man charged with destroying campaign signs

The suspect says he was retaliating over the removal of his own signs along McGillivray Blvd.

VANCOUVER — A 40-year old Vancouver man is facing charges for allegedly destroying dozens of campaign signs, and he says it was an act of retaliation.

Campaign signs for Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan dot McGillivray Boulevard. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Campaign signs for Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan dot McGillivray Boulevard. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Matthew Rebsch owns Sweet Strokes Painting and tells ClarkCountyToday.com in an exclusive interview that he believed Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan, or someone connected to him, was taking down signs advertising his business along McGillivray Boulevard between Chkalov Drive and 164th Avenue.

“I’ve been putting up my signs since the beginning of June,” Rebsch says, “and they were all fine until all these Regan political signs started coming out.”

Rebsch says his signs began to go missing, so he would replace them.

“I even put one up on a tree, 10-12 feet up, about three houses, four houses down from his (Regan’s) house,” says Rebsch. “And somebody went off, actually got a ladder, climbed up that tree and took my sign down again.”

A campaign sign for Vancouver City Council Candidate David Regan is left destroyed in a yard. Photo courtesy David Regan
A campaign sign for Vancouver City Council Candidate David Regan is left destroyed in a yard. Photo courtesy David Regan

Rebsch says he knows of at least one other business whose signs were taken.

“So I just got tired,” he says. “I started taking his signs, you know? You’re gonna take mine and everybody else’s, you know, why should yours be the only ones up there?”

Asked if he had taken signs for any other candidates aside from Regan, Rebsch admitted he had targeted at least a couple others.

“There was like maybe two others. That was it,” he says. “I didn’t touch anybody else’s.”

Vancouver Police did confirm that signs from other political candidates were located on Rebsch’s property, but wouldn’t say how many. Regan claims he has been shown pictures of at least half a dozen candidate’s campaign signs in Rebsch’s garage.

Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan says it will cost him around $800 to replace signs that were destroyed along McGillivray Blvd. Photo courtesy David Regan
Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan says it will cost him around $800 to replace signs that were destroyed along McGillivray Blvd. Photo courtesy David Regan

Rebsch was detained on Tuesday outside of his home, and police searched his garage. Further details were not released as the case has been handed over to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Rebsch was charged with third degree malicious mischief, third degree theft, and defacing or destroying political signage.

For his part, Regan denies taking any other signs down. He says other neighbors noticed the signs being destroyed or going missing, and helped figure out what was happening.

“I got ahold of some video because one neighbor had said they just looked in his car, which was out on the street, and saw political signs in the back of this car,” Regan says. “So all that stuff was forwarded to the police.”

Regan says Rebsch also went into yards along McGillivray and cut up his signs, leaving them in the grass. He says it will cost around $800 to replace all of the ones that were destroyed.

Regan owns a bail bonds business. He says he never had any contact with Rebsch in the past before the signs went missing.

“I don’t know if I need some help or what the deal is, you know?” he says.

Regan contacted several other candidates to let them know their signs may have also been taken or destroyed.

“He would just do rounds, and go pull all these signs out, and cut them up and then leave them piled up,” Regan says.

Cut up campaign signs for Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan are left piled on a driveway. Photo courtesy David Regan
Cut up campaign signs for Vancouver City Council candidate David Regan are left piled on a driveway. Photo courtesy David Regan

Rebsch, on the other hand, doesn’t buy Regan’s denial that he had anything to do with his signs being removed.

“You say, like, ‘well how do you know it’s him?’ I mean, it’s obvious. His signs are the only ones being left alone over a two-week period, while every other sign is getting screwed with. I mean, come on,” Rebsch said.

In a statement, Regan called the lost signs an “unfortunate situation” and said anyone who had a sign taken can get a replacement by contacting his campaign.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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