San Juan officials condemn theft, vandalism of political signs

There have been numerous reports of campaign signs being stolen on the islands.

Sheriff Bill Cumming has this message: Stealing signs is illegal and violators will be prosecuted. And if you take a sign off of someone's property, you can expect a trespassing charge tacked on to your theft charge.

Cumming said the issue is about respecting freedom of speech, as well as obeying laws protecting personal property.

The San Juan County Democratic Party sent out a message Monday comdemning the destruction of Republican campaign signs at the Thorndike property, aka The Big Red Barn, on Cattle Point Road.

"We absolutely condemn this sort of behavior, this lack of respect for the important right of free speech, and we extend apologies to the Thorndikes although obviously we don't know who might be responsible for this destruction," Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Ruth Fleming wrote in an e-mail.

"In general, this year, we have been pleased with the lack of such behavior, although a few of our signs have also been torn down and/or removed. There are always a few yahoos who don't grasp the concept of civility and respect.

"One of our Obama signs, incidentally, was removed by Mona the camel reaching over the fence and plucking it out of its stand. We don't hold it against her because she never had an opportunity to study civics in school — but we utterly condemn the human beings who do such things."

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