Did No on Recall make a false police report about sign theft at an OUSD school?

It appears that No on Recall made a false police report that their sign had been stolen by a particular employee at an OUSD school.

False police report that school employee’s vehicle had No on Recall signs

The Foothill Sentry reported in the March 2024 issue that, around the week of February 19, 2024, Frank Rodriguez, a paid media consultant for No on Recall, and OUSD Trustee Madison Miner, arrived at the campus of an OUSD elementary school. Specifically, No on Recall had “installed tracking devices in its signs. A paid consultant [Frank Rodriguez] tracks the missing signs and calls law enforcement to help retrieve them.”

The Foothill Sentry explained that Rodriguez and Miner reported to the Sheriff that a “missing sign was tracked to a school where a known ‘Yes’ supporter worked. The Sheriff was called and told she had stolen the sign. She was taken aside and interrogated. She did not steal the sign; it turned up in the principal’s office. The principal had removed it because it had been illegally erected on school property.” (Source: “‘Yes’ signs stolen; ‘No’ signs are microchipped,” Foothill Sentry, March 2024.)

Frank Rodriguez refuses to comment on the incident

Frank Rodriguez blogged and vlogged extensively on his search for missing No on Recall signs. However, Rodriguez has refused to comment in any way on the incident when contacted by OUSD Facts.

Madison Miner falsely insinuates that the suspected OUSD employee had stolen her sign

On February 22, 2024, Madison Miner shared the Frank Rodriguez blog post on her Facebook and posted her own video on Facebook and Instagram about the incident with extensive use of the passive voice to avoid identifying the person who performed the action.

Miner claims that an unspecified female identified only as “her” and “she” called the Sheriff. Madison hints that the Sheriff’s interrogation of the school employee was because the tracker was tracked to the “same vicinity” as the employee’s car and because it “matched the description” of a car that the unspecified female had days before witnessed taking down No on Recall signs.

Madison Miner then claims that: “Collaborating with the tracker used to prevent theft of our signs, the officer was able to retrieve the sign from the school.” This claim is analyzed below.

OUSD Facts Truth-o-Meter: Mostly False as to Madison Miner

We rate as mostly false Madison Miner’s claims that: “Collaborating with the tracker used to prevent theft of our signs, the officer was able to retrieve the sign from the school.” It is mostly false because the prior sentences indicate that the tracker identified the employee’s car, thereby implying that the sign was in the employee’s car.

However, the truth is that the tracker was, at best, located in the general vicinity of the sign. The collaboration of the tracker with eye witness testimony, known in the law to be surprisingly unreliable, produced a false allegation, something not admitted by the video. The video never states that the principal took down the sign or that the sign was in the principal’s office, not the school employee who was the suspected sign thief.

We rate Madison Miner’s claim as deceptive such that is is mostly false.

How does an AirTag tracker work?

The most common tracking device is an Apple AirTag, which Apple describes as operating as follows:

How accurate is an Apple AirTag?

There are two locational elements for an AirTag: the initial location based on other users and the ability of the iPhone to locate the item once the owner arrives nearby.

One technical site reports that: “The initial technology that the AirTag relies on for location is Ultra-Wideband. The AirTag uses UWB to determine if the tag is within its range of 30 to 40 ft. If the consumer is within 12 ft. of the tag, it will provide a precise location of the item.”

Apple reports that the “precise location” can be determined using an iPhone.

How could Madison Miner’s supposed reading of the AirTag tracking have mistaken an OUSD employee’s car with the principal’s office located at least 83 feet away?

At this time, we have no information as to how this alleged mistake could have occurred. Google Earth reports that the closest parking area to the principal’s office would be 83 feet, well outside the “vicinity” identified by an Apple AirTag tracker.

Given that Madison Miner reports on having located numerous signs at particular standard, suburban houses located about 75 feet apart, it is not clear how this allegation that a car in the parking lot was pinging for the tracker could have occurred by accident. At the least, there appears to be a recklessness with which Madison Miner’s sign theft tracking is occurring.