It happens every election season, and this one is no exception.
However bothersome it might be, election signs being stolen from yards is nothing out of the ordinary, according to Minnetonka Police Captain Scott Boerboom.
While residents can file complaints with the Minnetonka Police Department about missing or damaged campaign signs, there is generally nothing that can be done.
“The signs are typically purchased by the candidate,” Boerboom said. “So we can take an informational report, but technically it’s not a theft because the person who owns the house isn’t out any money.”
If a candidate reports stolen signs, then the department can take a theft report.
However, Boerboom does suggest homeowners contact the Police Department anyway. “If you would like to report it, you can certainly call, and we’ll take the report,” he said.
Minnetonka resident Amber Faith Bullington wishes more could be done.
“From what we've seen, a large number of signs are being stolen– those signs have to be somewhere,” Bullington said. “Plus, the people who stole our sign had to walk into our yard to remove it, and that's kind of scary.”
One night, all but one of the "Vote No on the Marriage Amendment" signs in her neighborhood were taken.
The month before that, a friend of hers in another area of town woke up to a damaged “Vote No” sign.
Bullington reported the missing signs to the Police Department but said she was told they couldn't file a formal complaint about the theft.
“They said something about how the signs don't have serial numbers on them, so there is no way they could prove that a sign was ours even if they found it,” said Bullington. “They did make a note of our complaint, though, and said they'd beef up patrol of our neighborhood.”
Boerboom said because the department doesn’t track the type of signs that are missing, they don’t know what is the most commonly taken or damaged sign.
Bullington said she handled the situation by donating more money to the “Vote No” cause and getting another sign.
She said her friend “repaired her vandalized sign, bought a new one and also made her own sign telling those who vandalized her sign that the only thing they are accomplishing by stealing and damaging signs is that more money is being funneled into the ‘Vote No’ cause.”
Have you had issues with missing or damaged campaign signs? Tell us in the comments.