Who is the Banana Pants Bandit?

A woman snatched a campaign sign from a San Jose family’s front yard, earning the nickname “Banana Pants Bandit” after video footage of the theft was shared on social media.

The robbery of a Sam Liccardo-for-mayor sign left Facebook commenters perplexed on what was more brazen—the sign stealing or the yellow pants?

“OMG if nothing else, at least the fashion police should get her!” one commenter wrote.

Willow Glen resident Katie Zazueta said the theft happened while she was away on vacation with her husband and two kids over the Fourth of July weekend. The video, captured by their recently installed Dropcam, shows a charcoal-gray sedan pull up to the curb. The banana-pants scofflaw hops out, plucks up the sign and scurries back to the passenger’s seat as the car jets off.

Zazueta uploaded the high-def video to her Facebook page, where it sparked a flurry of comments.

“It has political intrigue,” one person wrote, “a [fast]-paced getaway and an oversized, overripe banana. Manchurian Candidate, eat your heart out.”

Zazueta, who watched the recording with her family after they returned home to find the sign missing, said her kids told her it was the first crime they had ever witnessed.

52 Comments

  1. Pierluigi Oliverio was caught red-handed stealing campaign signs, captured on video, and absolutely nothing happened to him. No community outrage and no big headlines in the Mercury and SJI. Of course, Pierluigi is in Mayor Reed’s camp, and stealing the opposition’s campaign signs at that time was perfectly acceptable.

    • > Pierluigi Oliverio was caught red-handed stealing campaign signs, captured on video …

      This may be NEW news. I have not heard that there was such a video.

      How come we haven’t seen it?

      Is this going to be like Obama’s birth certificate which was claimed to exist but only seen by Democrat insiders?

      Produce the goods.

      • Here you go, bubbles….you must be new to the scene if you were not aware of this incident. “We” have seen it; you apparently, have not.

      • and you wonder why i call you dips teabaggers lol where’s the birth certificate lol morons

        • The tribalists never question ANYTHING that the tribal shaman says.

          “The leader is wise and strong and good. He guarantees livelihood. He makes things fair. He leads us in wars against enemy tribes”.

          True 10,000 years ago.

          True today.

          Nothing changes for them.

        • > A birther in its natural habitat.

          Which means what?

          You seem to be speaking in some crypto-tribalist language.

          Is there some TV program I need to watch to crack the code? I understand that Oprah is not on the boober anymore.

      • I think that is Pierluigi Oliverio wearing his usual sweatpants but since he got caught red-handed last time he decided to disguise himself with a wig. Nice try PLO

    • I didn’t view the video, but as I recall he was plucking signs posted ILLEGALLY on PUBLIC property. The disrespectful and brazen Banana Pants Beast was stealing from PRIVATE property. May it be found, tarred and feathered.

  2. They must have needed some emergency birdcage liner . Why else would anyone want a Liccardo Sign??

  3. “The robbery of a Sam Liccardo-for-mayor sign left Facebook commenters perplexed on what was more brazen—the sign stealing or the yellow pants?”

    A robbery is the taking of property from a person by use of force or fear… Taking a worthless sign from a Willow Glen lawn does not apply. Look it up Josh, section 211 of the California Penal Code. If there’s a crime, it would be a Municipal Code infraction- same as committed by Pierluigi Oliverio taking Measure B signs.

      • Liccardo and this homeowner have been interviewed and gotten a ton of airtime over each of the local major tv and radio stations, and big coverage in the Mercury. It definitely got him a lot of publicity, and he tied this incident in with his “initiative” to create a database of surveillance cameras of San Jose homeowners…how convenient was the timing of this incident. Oh, and he said he does not want to pursue this with the District Attorney’s office, and gives himself the appearance of taking the high road, though no suspect has even been identified.

  4. So I often wonder who is supporting Sam. Who are these people that put these signs on their lawn? Do they really want a “Smarter government. Safer city”?

    So being that Mrs. Zazueta publicized the “Banana Pants Bandit” I wanted to know more about her. She is married to Tom Zazueta and both are running “Coakley Heagerty”. According a Silicon Business Journal article, “The agency is a longtime representative of Northern California home builders”….”The firm had gross income of $4.41 million in 2006, making it the second largest advertising firm in the Silicon Valley.”

    I wonder.

    • > I wanted to know more about her. She is married to Tom Zazueta and both are running “Coakley Heagerty”. According a Silicon Business Journal article, “The agency is a longtime representative of Northern California home builders”….”The firm had gross income of $4.41 million in 2006, making it the second largest advertising firm in the Silicon Valley.”

      I wonder.

      I think this is called a conspiracy theory.

      • You mean like the tales the nut job, moronic birthers spun to keep themselves busy for 3 years?

        • Obama’s book publisher said he was born in Kenya.

          Why would Obama use a nut job, moronic book publisher who would lie about his place of birth?

          Doesn’t make sense to me.

  5. #SANJOSE: For god sake this can also be another Liccardo supporter. REMEMBER: Sam’s mayoral campaign spokesperson said –> THIS is what winners do..

  6. This incident became “news” because an act that is otherwise inconsequential served the political purposes of those who manufacture made-to-order news. And at the heart of its faux newsworthiness is the assumption the theft was politically motivated — an assumption for which there is as yet no conclusive evidence. It is every bit as likely the sign was removed because it was annoying; an eyesore in a neighborhood that abhors such things, where residents view everything through a lens of property values and propriety, and would consider a political sign in July as unwelcome a sight as Christmas decorations in October.

    If there is any news to be had from this incident, it would be the revelation that there was an actual police response to the politically-connected victim’s home. Now that, in this city where so many more deserving go unserved, would be a political scandal.

  7. So I often wonder who is supporting Sam. Who are these people that put these signs on their lawn? Do they really want a “Smarter government. Safer city”? Or do they have some connection with Northern California home builders, real estate, lawyers and large construction companies. Much like those that supported Chuck Reed and now Sam.

    So again I ask, do they really want a “Smarter government. Safer city”? I wonder.

  8. This is so funny. I am not a liccardo fan but what she did was wrong. Bet she is crapping in her pants that she is all over the internet. She’ll probably come forward and confess for fear that she is going to be recognized and outted. LMAO.

    • It was completely staged… The “victim” and Sam have been friends for a long time- see posts above. No such thing as responsible journalism anymore, outfits simply broadcast what’s presented.

      There’s the illusion of investigative journalism, like Shirikawa- but by now it’s fairly obvious that most of the information was fed by opposing politicians. Nearly every story has it’s flavor of political spin; sad state of affairs.

      • Doesn’t look very good on liccardo’s side of the fence when dishonesty is utilized to fool the public, such as in this suspected staged video…oh, I forgot, dishonesty is the cloud that follows liccardo quite closely. Birds of a feather flock together and if these are liccardo’s close friends, then that says a lot about liccardo.

    • Please don’t come down to that level. Cortese camp is above that.

      • But Cortese Camp is not above endorsing corrupt politicians and making up conspiracy theories?

  9. If you want to steal a sign in broad daylight, and wear the brightest thing available, and you know that the Zazuetas, will be out of town, but their cameras will be on. Don’t you feel that these knuckle Heads are looking for Sam to get a cheap thrill. Tipical Zazueta cheap shot.
    Set Up? You Bet.
    Where are all of the other folks that have signs taken from their front lawns.
    Dave , don’t feel bad , that you do not have the same sex appeal as Sam. But beware of PLO!
    Only in America!

  10. Judging by the shadows, it is right after sunrise, which on July 4th, was before 6 AM. The car then drives by and has to deliberately make a u-turn to come back to this particular sign, as though this sign at this house was singled out. That makes no sense as there are plenty of other Liccardo signs to grab not requiring the effort to make a u-turn, and which are in much more hidden areas to be taken without being seen. This was a lot of effort to steal a sign which could be had much easier in a hundred other places. Was this time of day picked because it would be well lit and show up on a security video, yet everyone would still be asleep? Any other time of day and people are outside, or it is night and too dark. It is also strange that they happen to pull directly in front of this house with extreme high resolution security video, and the homeowner then goes to the media with this video. It is coincidental the ties she has with LIccardo. It is also strange that with all the media exposure this has gotten, the woman stealing the signs has not been identified. If she were local, and active enough in politics and the community that she is so inspired to steal a sign, somebody would have recognized her, like what happened with Pierluigi. This seems like a total set up, she wore the pants so this incident would get some extra attention, which it definitely has, and she is probably not from around here, thus why she has not been identified. Just my thoughts and conspiracy theory, or it could be Pierluigi in drag.

    • Looks like I spurred some thought that it could have been staged. You’re right about the time Observation. I looked their house up on google street maps, it faces South, and you can see the sun rising from the East. Very very good observations, things I wasn’t even looking at.

      Dan, Josh, in all fairness I think you guys should write another story about this, exploring the possibility that this was all an elaborate hoax. Some things my wife and I noticed right off the bat.

      Why is the camera pointed at the lawn/street? If either of us were setting up cameras, we would point it more towards the porch. (Just had to setup a dropcam for work this week) Why is it the sign is at *just* the right angle to be seen on camera (almost a little too perfectly if you ask me) but we cannot see the license plate of the car? The sign is nearly at a 45′ angle to the camera. Most signs are placed either perfectly parallel, or perpendicular to the street.

    • One last comment on this.

      Take a look at this picture, there’s a description, but I’ll put the description here as well.

      http://imgur.com/jAZXuxT

      I think I found the center of perspective a bit more accurately in this picture than the last. I used the Zazueta’s driveway as a point of reference, and drew out 2 perspective lines. Where they intersect would be the true center of perspective.

      The perspective lines line up everywhere else EXCEPT Sam’s sign. This sign was not placed for best visibility to the street at all. Like I said, it was placed to have best visibility to the camera, otherwise it would be lined up near perfectly with the red lines.

      • The whole thing is pretty funny…maybe there is a smoking gun video that has been sold to TMZ, that they won’t release until the election day eve.

        Cortese, with your considerable weight maybe you should have the county open up an investigation into this.

        I wonder how much of the first real debate between these two will be devoted to this. Anyone have an idea of when that first head to head televised debate might be?

    • This all happened because like Watergate before them Liccardo and those that surround his campaign are a bunch of amateurs. This is obviously a staged event. Perhaps after a thorough investigation we will be able to call it his “Bananagate” and send him off on his helicopter ride. We as voters and citizens of San Jose deserve better than this.

      • This looks completely staged. It has been used for maximum media exposure and soundbites by Liccardo to the press and social media. It is all over the involved parties Facebook page. Google the names of those involved and there are fundraising ties amongst them. Also, the homeowner’s profession is marketing, and the events depicted in this video, and the following media exposure, as well as social media exposure, is just too perfect to be a coincidence, IMO.

        • Additionally, reading the article in the Mercury News, somehow it slipped past the editors and it was reported that this supposed victim of the sign theft and owner of the high def camera system are life long friends of Liccardo.

        • I still think Pierluigi’s sweats are a more egrigious fashion faux pas than yellow pants, IMO.It is nice to see both you and Cortese doing a substantial amount of research on this, I will expect Law & Order to cover this ‘based on a crime event’ sometime in the next season. When you lack substance you resort to conspiracy theories because you fear your side may lose – I respect that.

      • Robert Michael Cortese……errr Michael Roberts – comparing your conspiracy theory to Watergate might be the most comical comparison I have read in sometime. Maybe there will be a zapruder film showing a different angle, and from that we might be able to deduce if there was a second sign stealer on the grassy lawn.

        When you are bringing up an unproven conspiracy theory and positing it as fact and comparing it to WATERGATE you have seriously lost your marbles and belong in a padded room :-).

        • SJC…With all due respect I have provided a definition of the word satire for you:
          sat·ire

          ˈsaˌtīr/

          noun

          the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

          While there be not direct evidence of Liccardo involvement at this time at this time, I can tell you with some certainty that if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck there is a very good chance that it is a duck.

          Bottom line Bananagate is a sleazy attempt by the Liccardo camp to grab some press/publicity and it worked.

          Lastly, you are wound just a bit too tight.

  11. When SJI posts a story it is assumed the intent is to attract comments and stimulate discussion, and with its Banana Pants post it achieved just that. With one glaring exception, commenters have speculated about the motives and participation of the perpetrator, victims, mayoral candidates, and news coverage.

    That glaring exception is SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE, who, despite being the second to comment (the morning the story was posted), and commenting an additional four times, has in no way, shape, or form responded to the story itself. Instead, all his/her posts are replies that ridicule the comments of others, using the tiresome and unimaginative lexicon of the paid political stooge. From early AM to midnight, this (obviously piecemeal) campaign operative is at the ready to ridiculously brand others as birthers, tribalists, or conspiracy theorists, due not to the content or virtue of their comments, but to his own partisanship.

    As of now, responsibility for the Banana Pants caper remains a mystery, but given his/her efforts to use it to stink up the Cortese camp, SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE has provided us with a whiff of what San Jose can expect from Camp Liccardo.

    • He sounds a lot like Shane Connolly, the guy who oft does the same here and in Mercury News comments… Who just happens to be Johnny Khamis’ taxpayer funded au pair.

    • > As of now, responsibility for the Banana Pants caper remains a mystery, but given his/her efforts to use it to stink up the Cortese camp, SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE has provided us with a whiff of what San Jose can expect from Camp Liccardo.

      Heh. Heh.

      My deep cover disguise is really working. They have no clue.

  12. I think there was another stealer. From where the car stopped she couldn’t have stolen the sign by herself, someone was behind the bushes.

  13. It’s so hard for voters to decide who would be the better mayor.
    Should I vote for the guy whose supporters steal signs? Or would the guy whose supporters steal their own signs hoping that people will think they were stolen by the other guy’s supporters make a better mayor? Both pretty good mayoral credentials. Tough call.
    Fortunately there’s an old political slogan;” When in doubt, vote for the guy whose cousin would go all Sherlock Holmes and superimpose red lines on a video and post them on the internet”

      • Robert, John might be being sarcastic – not sure…. i have a question: why would Dave, who I have met and seems like a nice enough guy, think that Xavier Campos should have been re- elected? Thank you.

        • SJC I can’t speak for Dave. I’ve never spoken with him on the subject.

          I’ll give you my own personal “What does Robert think?” Are some causes so important, that they demand anything to win?

          I’m still relatively a green sprout when it comes to politics, I tend to speak my mind a lot to both my benefit and detriment, but as green as I am I understand this. At some point if you’re truly dedicated to a cause, you get to some point where the good outweighs any bad actions you might have used to get there.

          I think it’s a pretty hard ethical challenge.

          On the one hand, you have a guy that actually has done a lot of good, for SBLC, POA and employees unions. On the other hand, it’s one of those situations where you see a trail of crumbs from the cookie jar leading up to someone you suspect, but you didn’t actually see their hand in the cookie jar.

          Labor/Unions know he’s a sure bet in their corner. It would have been a huge risk for anyone else.

          Having actually sat here and gone through this thought process, I have to ask myself, sure bet? Or challenger? That would all depend on if I’m playing for the good guys, or the bad guys. I try to play for the good guys, although figuring out who is good is a challenge sometimes.

          And again, I have no idea about Dave. I can tell you this, I don’t agree with him 100% of the time.

  14. ONLY IN SAN JOSE, CAN WE EXPERIENCE THIS KIND OF POLITICAL JOURNEY. I FEEL LIKE I’M IN THE WIZARD OF OZ. ON THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. BECAUSE, BECAUSE, BECAUSE.
    WAS THE PERSON IN YELLOW PANTS WEARING RED SHOES?
    THANK YOU SJI!