ENC law enforcement agencies investigating several cases of political sign tampering

Stealing or vandalizing political signs is a class III misdemeanor in North Carolina.
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 7:17 PM EDT
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - With four weeks until election day, political signs are popping up on nearly every street corner in America. But several law enforcement agencies in Eastern North Carolina are investigating ones that were taken down.

“These signs are going to get put back out,” said Young Democrats of Onslow County President Samuel Johnson. I probably shouldn’t. But, just so that people can see what’s happening in this area."

Johnson filed a report with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office of three political signs off of Highway 258 in Richlands that were run over by a car. Several others were also stolen across the county.

“We condemn all sign tampering, whether or not it’s a Libertarian candidate a Republican candidate,” Johnson said.

It’s a bipartisan issue. Three other reports have come into the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in the last month, at least two of them involved signs supporting President Trump.

Incidents not unlike the one caught on camera by the Pamlico County Republican Party.

“We started off with swastikas on some of our bigger signs. Red spray paint on these particular signs,” said Pamlico County Republican Party Chair Dave Wickersham.

The video shows at least three signs stolen by a woman off the side of the road. The video also shows at least two signs with red spray paint. The incident is under investigation by the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s an indication of the intense emotional aspect of this election cycle, as opposed to let’s talk and argue and debate about policy,” said Wickersham, who added that he’s planning on pressing charges.

The issue affects candidates of both parties, according to Craven County Elections Director Meloni Wray.

“It can get rather expensive,” said Wray. “Just file those police reports and make the police take the report because then you have a record.”

Political sign tampering is a Class III Misdemeanor in North Carolina and can earn you up to 20 days in jail and a $200 fine.

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