MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents that stealing political yard signs is a crime in New York State.
In a statement to the media, Sheriff Jim Quattrone says so far this election season there have been several reports of stolen yard signs throughout the county.
The Sheriff says that taking political signs is not only a crime, it can also considered suppressing free speech, a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“As Election Day approaches there will likely be an increase in signs being put out,” said Quattrone. “Anyone taking a sign without permission could be subject to criminal charges.”
Specifically, Republican District Attorney candidate Jason Schmidt reports on his Facebook page that some of his political signs have been taken.
In the post, Schmidt says signs along Central Avenue in Fredonia first went missing last Saturday.
The Sheriff’s Office says residents that believe a sign is hindering visibility of traffic, or if a sign is illegally placed, residents should call the municipality where the sign is located.