Ocean County prosecutor targets thieves taking Trump lawn signs (WATCH)
If someone plants a lawn sign supporting a candidate, you're free to disagree. Take the sign, though, and you're a lawbreaker.
That's the stern message from Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, who posted video of a sign theft captured on camera Monday night in Bayville.
"Stealing campaign signs is a crime. A person's property and freedoms are not to be violated by others," Coronato said in a statement. "
The theft of the Donald Trump campaign sign on Bowsprit Drive at about 9 p.m. on Aug. 29 is only one of several reports from the neighborhood, according to the prosecutor.
Theft of political signs — Democratic, Republican and even school board candidates — is nothing new and has plagued campaigns across the state.
A Trump flag flying in a Long Branch yard became a national topic earlier this year when Joseph Hornick was ticketed in March for violating a borough ordinance that prohibited the display of campaign signs more than 30 days before an election.
Municipal officials say they considered the flag a campaign sign. Hornick's lawyer, Eric Sherman, argued the ordinance was vague regarding flags. Judge Louis Garippo Jr. agreed and dismissed the case "in the interest of justice."
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office asks anyone with information about the Bayville theft to call 732-929-2027.