The Broward Sheriff's Office is investigating after surveillance video showed a man who, townspeople say, works for a mayoral candidate in Cooper City stealing a campaign sign of the opponent.

Vita Restaurant & Pizza owner Eric Gilreath was upset when his sign supporting Cooper City mayoral candidate Greg Ross was stolen from his unlocked but closed store at 1:30 a.m. last Friday.

"I shouldn't have somebody come into my restaurant in the middle of the night and steal what my right is," said Gilreath.

A security camera showed a group open the door of the restaurant, take a sign, and throw it in the trash.

"You just don't do that," said Gilreath.

Some people in the town recognized the man in the video as Ryan Shrouder, who works for Gary Laufenberg, Ross' opponent.

Laufenberg told Local 10's Bob Norman that Shrouder had indeed stolen the sign. Shrouder didn't return phone calls from Local 10 on Tuesday.

Shrouder has been in trouble before. As class president at Cooper City High School in 2006, he was charged with changing grades for several students.

Shrouder was sentenced to probation and is currently a Nova Southeastern law school student.


Cooper City Commissioner John Sims has a low opinion of Shrouder, who appears to be the protégé for outgoing Cooper City Mayor Debbie Eisinger.

"He does her dirty work," said Sims.

Gilreath wants to press charges.

"I am pressing charges. I don't feel that it's right," said Gilreath.