stolen signs

MISSOULA - With Election Day less than a month away, some folks in Missoula said politics are hitting close to home. Yard signs with candidates names have been reportedly stolen out of yards in the middle of the night.

Andy Knutson caught the thief taking his signs on camera this weekend.

In the footage he shared with Montana Right Now, you see a man walk up the driveway and pull a sign from the ground before moving on to the next one.

Knutson says he wasn't the only one hit Saturday night.

"We discover this morning all of our yard signs were gone, Ron's yard signs were gone, our neighbor's yard signs were gone, and the neighbor on the corner, their yard signs are gone," Knutson said.

After realizing it was his whole block that was targeted, Knutson was even more upset.

"I think this is an effort for some people in this county and some live here in Missoula who want to shut up free speech the right for all of us to articulate our attitudes towards things peacefully," Knutson said.

And it's not just happening in his neighborhood.

"The reports I can think of range all over town," Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said, "There isn't a specific neighborhood that was affected."

According to the Missoula Police Department, they have received multiple reports this year of stolen or vandalized yard signs, across party lines.

"The signs range in political affiliation and issues, and that's really not what we focus on, it's the fact the signs were taken and we investigate," Welsh said.

While Knutson hopes the thief return his signs, their action aren't changing his action when it comes to the ballot box.

"Cause I'm still going to vote for who I want to vote for, and they are still going to vote for whom they want to vote for, and that's ok, that's the way this country was put together," Knutson said.

But he still hopes the thief is caught. If caught the suspect would be charged with misdemeanor theft and could face up to a $500 fine or a year in jail.

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