Q: What can I do to prevent my political campaign signs from being stolen from my front yard?
A: There are several actions you can take--one is to move the sign(s) closer to your home or better yet bring the sign indoors and place it in your window. Several residents have installed surveillance cameras to monitor their signs.
It is unfortunate that your signs were stolen, and I would like to encourage you to call the police non-emergency number and file a report with the Department. This allows us to track the area that these types of crime are occurring in and try to provide extra patrol when staffing and calls permit.
Whatever the reason behind the stolen signs, the thief may not realize that stealing, tampering, and/or vandalizing a campaign sign is a crime.
The law views campaign signs like personal property, so when a thief steals your sign, that is theft under Minnesota State Statue 609.52.
Campaign signs are not cheap, and it could cost a candidate $25 or more depending on the size and design.
If you are caught with stolen property, you may be charged with possession of stolen property in violation of Minnesota State Statue 609.53. The victim may also file a civil action and seek damages.
I would also like to define trespassing (MN. Stat. § 609.605) with the intent to steal property: trespassing is an intentional, wrongful entry onto another person's land, without the owner's permission and without a legal privilege to do so.
I want to remind everyone that we should respect each other's choices and property.
1. Minnesota State Statute 609.52, Theft, located online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/609.52
2. Minnesota Statute 609.53, Receiving Stolen Property, located online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/609.53
3. Minnesota Statute 609.605, Trespass, located online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/609.605
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