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Kansas City-area homeowners, political campaigns report stolen yard signs ahead of August primaries

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 18:17:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Homeowners and multiple political campaigns for the August primaries are seeing their yard signs being stolen from properties across Missouri and Kansas.

Jason Withington, running for the Clay County Commission, says somebody was caught on his neighbor’s door ring camera stealing multiple signs in his neighborhood.

“Over the last week, we’ve got reports of about 100 of my yard signs throughout the county being stolen — primarily in Gladstone and Kansas City,” Withington said. “It’s not about the money, it is about the principle. So somebody is going onto somebody’s property, they are trespassing and they are stealing the person’s private property you know?”

Withington believes this election has been especially polarizing with hot ticket items on the ballot and the climate of the nation.

“As long as we’re partisan and we’re not working toward a common issue, we’ll probably just keep seeing more of this,” Withington he said.

Across state line, Kansas is also gearing up for its primaries.

A homeowner in Shawnee, Jacklynn Walters, woke up one morning to find her yard sign supporting the "Value Them Both" amendment stolen along with her neighbor’s.

“[I'm] Just very disappointed that though we may have opposing views on an issue, it doesn’t necessarily give me or anyone else the right to take someone else’s property, on their own property,” Walters said.

Walters says her family puts up political signs every election, but this has never happened in previous years.

She respects the freedom of her neighbors to publicly support their causes, but this crosses the line.

“Especially considering where we placed it — directly in front of our front door," she said. "[It] Was very close to our home, meaning they were very close to myself and my children."

According to the Liberty Police Department and Clay County Prosecutor’s Office, the penalty for stealing campaign signs off private property is a misdemeanor in the state of Missouri.

People who are caught can face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

The penalty in Kansas is the same.