WEST JEFFERSON-The most definite sign yet that the silly season has arrived in Ashe County? Try the countywide theft of political signs supporting candidates of all stripes.
That’s according to local officials from both the Democrat and Republican parties and the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office.
Polly Jones, the interim chairwoman of the Ashe County Democratic Party, said some 60 signs supporting Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have been snatched in recent days. She said she has no idea who would have stolen the signs.
“Some of these signs, when they were put out, didn’t even make it through the night,” Jones said. “The idea that someone would steal or destroy someone else’s property over something like this? It’s ridiculous.”
The majority of the swiped signs were along NC-16, and near Food Lion, Libby’s and Vannoy Construction, Jones said.
“I still have some that I’ll be putting out near the precincts, but they won’t go out until then,” Jones said. “There’s no point if they’re just going to be stolen like that.”
Ashe County Republican Party Chairman David Desautels told the Jefferson Post that a variety of Republican supporting yard signs have also been stolen. At least a dozen Donald Trump signs have been stolen in recent days, but county commissioner, Virginia Foxx, Jonathan Jordan and Pat McCrory signs have also gone missing.
“I put out many on Hwy 194 heading to Lansing just after you turn off 88 and they were stolen,” Desautels said.
Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said the theft of political signs usually comes with the territory when somebody runs for office.
“I’ve had mine stolen, many, many times,” Williams said. “Trashed, stolen, tossed over a bank somewhere. It makes you mad, but it’s hard to stop and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.”
Williams said snatching signs without permission is still a misdemeanor however, and said anyone with tips about missing signs should contact his office.
Williams said sign owners might place an infrared game camera pointed at their signs to catch thieves in the act.
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.