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Authorities Warn: Stealing Political Signs a Crime

October 14, 2016
Stealing Political Signs a Crime: Manassas City Police

Stealing Political Signs a Crime: Manassas City Police

Stealing Political Signs a Crime: Authorities

A resident had one defaced and another later stolen. It's an oft-unreported crime throughout the nation, but it can lead to jail time.

(This report also applies to Sterling, Va.)

MANASSAS CITY, VA 'Tis the season for political signs positioned along roadways, plastered on vehicles and planted in front yards.

It's also the season for defacing or stealing such signs, as Monday's crime report from Manassas City Police demonstrates.

Last Friday, a resident in the 10200 block of Cedar Ridge Drive reported to police that sometime between 9 a.m.-4 p.m., a political sign was stolen from his front yard. He also told police an identical sign had been damaged a few days earlier.

And Manassas City police want to make it clear stealing political signs is a crime with potential jail time.

Under the Virginia criminal code, theft of a political sign in considered petit larceny and is categorized as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Many such thefts usually don't make local crime reports if for no other reason than the victim never bothered to report it to police, but according to Fairfax City Police Sgt. Shawn Sutherland, whose department had one reported last week, if someone does report it, police take it seriously.

"Hey, it's stealing somebody's property," Sutherland said. "Any way you look at it, that's against the law."

Late last month in West Whiteland, Pa., police were proactive in asking for the public's help in ID'ing a man (above) who repeatedly stole Donald Trump campaign signs from the same front lawn.

The signs were stolen or damaged three times in a week, police said.

Image courtesy West Whiteland Police

from the Patch (thank you Donna Widawski)

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