Alarm co. owner loses sign battle

Monday, December 1, 2003

LOS ANGELES - Bruce Boyer of Lone Star Security faces up to five years in prison after being convicted of 15 counts of illegally placing his company’s signs on public fences here.

In response to the city’s policy for responding to burglar alarms, Boyer posted five signs on telephone poles that read, “LAPD will no longer respond to your alarm! Lone Star Security will!”

This was not Boyer’s first run-in with Los Angeles’ city government. In 2002, amid talks of San Fernando Valley’s possible secession from Los Angeles, Boyer ran for mayor of the proposed new city. Since then, he has continued to criticize city bureaucracy and the debate over non-response that has dominated Los Angeles politics this year.

Boyer did not return phone calls for comment, but told The Daily News of Los Angeles immediately after the verdict was entered against him, “I don’t think anyone but Councilman (Dennis) Zine and a few sick, twisted people would say someone should go to jail for having a few signs on telephone poles.”

According to the Daily News, it was Zine who reported the signs to the Department of Building and Safety earlier this year, beginning the process that culminated with Boyer’s late-October conviction.

Geoffrey Garfield, a spokesman for Zine, denied that the report was part of a political vendetta, as Boyer had alleged, but rather came as a result of a number of residents complaining to Zine about the signs. He also said Boyer was convicted under a city policy that prohibits placing signs on the public right-of-way. It is unclear whether Boyer will appeal his conviction based on the policy’s uneven enforcement. According to the Daily News, those who advertise garage sales or lost pets are not prosecuted.