There’s been a lot of political signs put in yards in recent weeks building up to the April 8 election. Unfortunately, there’s been several stolen or destroyed as well.
The Farmington Police Department has received reports of signs for both mayoral candidates being stolen or damaged in past weeks. In at least two cases some political yard markers turned up floating and sunk in the pond near the entrance to the St. Francois County Country Club.
Police Chief Rick Baker said sign thefts and damage is a misfortunate side effect in nearly every election. Some years the thefts and damage is greater than others. Many times it’s discovered the thefts were done as pranks by youth — but that’s not always the case.
The upcoming election will see resident and business owner Jeannie Roberts oppose Councilman Charles Rorex for the next term as mayor. Both Rorex and Roberts have had signs damaged or stolen in the past month. In one case a sign posted several feet inside a private yard was destroyed when someone drove over the curb and through the grass to hit the sign.
Baker said often times youngsters think stealing a few signs is a harmless crime, but at the cost of having the signs made nowadays the crime could quickly reach the level of qualifying as felony theft. Even the theft of one or more signs can bring a municipal charge of stealing, and possibly a complaint lodged for trespassing.