Bandit ranger couple caught stealing political signs from private property

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - The owner of Sportsman’s gun range in Humble is having a hard time keeping his Republican candidates' names on his property.

Police say last week he confronted 67-year-old Susan Pilko and her husband, 59-year-old Steven Varnis, after they stole two political signs and loaded them into their car.

They were captured by a security camera.

According to court papers, Pilko told the owner she was given the authority to take the signs by Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and then drove away in her Toyota Prius.

The owner gave the license plate to police and when officers went to the couple’s Kingwood home, court papers state they admitted they took the signs and placed them in their garage.

They claimed they were trained as bandit rangers whose duties are to remove illegal signage along rights of way.

But Sportsman’s is private property.

The county attorney says bandit rangers are specifically instructed not to enter onto private property.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has nothing to do with the program.

According to court papers, police found 18 political campaign signs, including ones for candidates Ron Hickman, Ted Poe, Mike Sullivan and Mark Herman, all Republicans.

The total value of the signs: $216.47.

KPRC was unable to reach the couple for a comment. A neighbor says the allegations against them make sense.

“They're very Democratic and she is very vocal about it," Dustin Silk said.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2