Who’d steal a sign that support local cops?
As November’s elections near, authorities everywhere typically see an uptick in yard-sign thefts. But the most recent target in Friendswood isn’t a political candidate. Instead, it was a sign that encourage support for the police department.
A witness saw a suspect, described a teenage boy or young man between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall with shoulder-length curly hair, take a “We support our fantastic police officers” yard sign from a resident’s yard Sept. 30 in the 1200 block of Middlecreek Street, police said. About 10 yard signs of various types have been stolen since Jan. 1, according to the report.
“We expect the theft of political signs during every election cycle. Political lawn-sign theft is not just confined to Friendswood, it happens across the country,” police spokeswoman Lisa Price said.
Signs advocating support for police, initially sold by the Friendswood Chamber of Commerce, are now only available at Bay Area Pools and Spas, 4890 W. Main St. in League City, chamber vice president Lucy Woltz said.
Office manager Lora Jacobsen said several people have come into the pool store recently looking to replace stolen signs. Store owner Lee Brock asks for a donation to Bay Area Pet Adoptions in exchange for a sign.
For residents looking to plant a sign, either political or supporting the police, Price offered placement tips.
“Put them closer to your house. If your lawn is narrow, put it in a front-facing window,” she said. “Then, of course, there are some of the more creative and fun ways to deter sign theft like covering them in Vaseline or some other type of oily or greasy material.”
Those who put out signs should make sure they are on private property, with the owner’s permission, Price said.
“Also, it is illegal to place any signs on or within the right of way. This includes posting signs on trees, telephone poles, light poles and other objects on the right of way,” she said.
Surveillance cameras also are a good investment to protect home and property, Price said. “They are a deterrent, but more than that, if they don’t deter, they capture images of the suspect that law enforcement can use to help identify the thieves.”
Price said that anyone with information on the thefts or any suspicious activity in Friendswood should call the police department at 281-996-3300.