KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Homeowners and multiple political campaigns for the August primaries are having their yard signs stolen from properties in Missouri and Kansas.
Jason Withington, a candidate for the Clay County Commission, said someone was caught on his neighbor’s camera stealing several signs in his neighborhood.
“Over the past week, we have received information about the theft of about 100 of my street signs throughout the county, primarily in Gladstone and Kansas City,” Withington said. “It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of principle. So somebody breaks into somebody’s property, they trespass and steal the person’s private property, you know? »
Withington believes this election has been particularly polarized with flashpoints on the ballot and the nation’s climate.
“As long as we’re partisan and not working on a common issue, we’ll likely continue to see more,” he said.
Across the state, Kansas is also gearing up for its primaries.
A Shawnee homeowner, Jacklynn Walters, woke up one morning to find her yard sign supporting the “Value Them Both” amendment stolen along with her neighbor’s.
“[I’m] I’m just very disappointed that even though we may have opposing views on an issue, that doesn’t necessarily give me or anyone else the right to take ownership of someone another, on his own property,” Walters said.
Walters says her family puts up political signs every election, but that has never happened in previous years.
She respects her neighbors’ freedom to publicly support their causes, but that’s overstepping the bounds.
“Especially considering where we put it – right outside our front door,” she said. “[It] Was very close to home, which means they were very close to me and my children.”
According to the Liberty Police Department and the Clay County District Attorney’s Office, the penalty for stealing campaign signs from private property is a misdemeanor in the state of Missouri.
Those caught can face up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
The penalty in Kansas is the same.