Local News

McCain, Obama signs reported stolen from supporters' yards

Posted October 8, 2008 4:59 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2008 8:10 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh police say they've received reports of dozens of presidential campaign signs in people's yards being stolen or defaced.

Haze Lancaster said he didn't think much about it when the first sign supporting Sen. John McCain disappeared from his front yard. But when it kept happening, he bought an infrared camera to try to catch the culprit.

"I probably had about 30 signs," Lancaster said. "It's a violation of free speech, and it's also stealing."

Someone has also stolen two signs supporting Sen. Barack Obama from Donna Wolcutt's home near North Carolina State University. Now, she says, her neighbors have resorted to posting signs on their houses.

"It does make you sad to think that you can't put a sign up in your yard," Wolcutt said.

In another case, someone stole a woman's Obama signs and left dead mice in their place.

"It's a cowardly way of doing something," said Grace Stroud.

Stroud's sign supporting Obama is still standing on her lawn, but someone threw a packet of material on her lawn attacking the Illinois senator.

"There's more appropriate ways than just lobbing material that's obviously meant to be derogatory on someone's lawn," Stroud said.

Raleigh police say they've received nine reports of approximately 24 signs stolen – about an even number of signs supporting both candidates.

They say it's a difficult crime to solve unless thieves are caught in the act.