As political campaigns heat up this summer, some candidates are claiming their signs are being stolen or vandalized; a problem that is costing them big bucks.
You seem them all over town, the yard signs with the catchy slogan and the last name in big, bold text.
Now one candidate is doing all he can to make sure his signs stay put.
We may be months away from the November general election.
But that's not stopping some people from destroying and taking political signs posted around town.
“It's not surprising; it goes on every year,”
Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver is running for re-election.
“As a candidate when you buy signs, yard signs particularly you have to look at them as a disposable purchase because they are going to be moved, they're going to disappear, they're going to be trashed, and that's just part of it,” said Culver.
“Signs don't vote, people do,”
Houston County Sheriff Candidate Eddie Ingram says the problem is getting worse.
“It’s ridiculous, it's totally uncalled for. In the last four or five days, it's escalated to about 15 houses and businesses who have asked us for signs are calling me now and saying our signs are missing, stolen or destroyed,” said Ingram.
“We ask everybody to be considerate, it matters not if it's someone you support or not, something that is one someone's property...that is their right to have that in their yard,” said Cpl. Rachel David with the Dothan Police Department.
“Political signs like any other private property located on private property, they belong to private individuals and any vandalism to them will be treated like any other vandalism, as a crime,” said Culver.
Ingram is strategically placing security cameras to try to catch the culprit.
“We have eye witnesses who have seen a grown man doing this,”
He has a message for the sign stealer:
“Just grow up,”
Ingram says four vehicle magnets were also stolen and those aren't cheap.
Also, he estimates those 14 stolen yard signs cost him about $140.
Ingram is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for taking his signs.
Police can charge someone with trespassing if they go onto someone else's property.
More charges could be filed if their intention was to steal or vandalize signs.