Thefts of campaign signs under investigation in Brevard County

Police are investigating possible election interference in Brevard County after a candidate had several campaign signs stolen over the weekend. 

It happened to John Dittmore, who was running for a seat on the Brevard County Commission. 

Several agencies are now involved in tracking down who’s responsible. 

One location hit by thieves was Rhodes Park, where a large sign had been up near the park entrance. On Tuesday, sandbags holding down the large sign were still there, but the actual wooden frame was thrown in the canal, and the sign insert was missing. 

Broken frames and stolen signs were in the back of John Dittmore’s truck on Tuesday because he found them allegedly stockpiled at someone’s home in Melbourne Beach hours before FOX 35 met him to discuss what happened. 

"We found signs in the back of their truck, inside the cab, inside the garage of their home, and also in the backyard of their home," said the candidate, who was a local representative in West Melbourne before transitioning to a county position. 

In total, he says nine signs were taken. However, the District 3 county commission candidate says he recovered them all overnight with the help of the West Melbourne and Melbourne Beach police departments.

"We’ll get to the bottom of it, and that’s what I am hoping for," said Dittmore. 


Dittmore played a crucial role in cracking his own case and is a retired police officer himself. After a few signs were taken, his wife told him to put an AirTag in one of the signs they replaced. Overnight, they saw the tag on the move.

"I figured third time would be the charm, and that actually ended up working for us," he said. 

The West Melbourne police department is now leading the investigation, but Melbourne Beach police officers assisted on Monday night as investigators questioned people where several signs were found.

"I think it’s election interference; it shouldn’t be done," said Brian, who was walking near Rhodes Park on Monday, where one sign was stolen and vandalized. 

He’s frustrated to see this happening.

"I see signs all the time of support of people I don’t necessarily agree with. I don’t touch their signs," he said. "I think he should go after them, find out who they are, and prosecute them."

Dittmore says this is a setback for his campaign, but he’s not backing down and will press charges if police make an arrest.

"This is not going to stop me from doing what needs to be done," concluded Dittmore. 

Dittmore says he was also targeted because several signs were clustered together in other areas around town. His was the only one taken. After the theft, he is re-ordering new signs and starting to rebuild wooden frames with his team of volunteers.