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Sign battle starts with a zzzzzzzt!

After Shawn Turschak saw two sets of McCain-Palin signs disappear from his yard within hours of being planted, he took steps to protect the latest pair.

On Monday, he ran wires from his house and hooked the signs to a power source for an electric pet fence. Then he mounted a surveillance camera in a nearby tree.

Tuesday afternoon, the camera saw this: A neighbor trotting up with an Obama-Biden sign, grabbing a handful of volts as he touched a McCain-Palin sign, then fleeing at top 9-year-old boy speed.

A few minutes later, the boy's father, Andrew Noble, was at Turschak's door, demanding an explanation from Turschak's 13-year-old daughter, who called her parents on the phone to say a man was yelling at her.

Noble later told an investigator that the boy had been trying to pull up the McCain sign so that he could see how it was constructed, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department said.

But the video, Turschak said, makes clear that the boy was planning to switch the signs, which are essentially sheathes that slip over metal framework. The boy had only brought the Democratic sheath, not the legs.

Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass said he doesn't plan to file charges. The deputy who investigated Tuesday said the pet-fence setup probably was legal, Turschak said, but perhaps more trouble than it was worth. Turschak said Wednesday morning that he would pull the plug on the signs. The camera, though, stayed.

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