The election season gives area residents the chance to voice their political opinion. Some choose to do so by stealing signs from other residents' yards.
According to Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has been receiving reports of stolen or damaged political signs throughout the county. These signs are considered private property and are generally the property of the committee of the particular candidate. Damage or theft of these signs is a violation of the law and individuals that damage or steal signs are subject to arrest for a number of charges including criminal mischief, petit larceny and trespassing.
The Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies investigate the theft and damage of private property and will arrest offenders whenever possible. Anyone with information regarding theft or damage to these signs can contact the Sheriff's Office at 753-4231.