Thieves target political signs in Omaha neighborhood

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 4:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Video shows some political signs are now the target of thieves, and it’s happening to people on both sides of the political spectrum.

Barton Winchester says his political sign was stolen from his front lawn around 9 p.m. Wednesday. The entire thing was caught on his Nest camera.

“Somebody drove down the street, saw our sign, doubled back in the neighbor’s driveway, and came back and grabbed it,” he said.

But he doesn’t think the theft had anything to do with his political party. He said he thinks some teenagers stole the sign.

Winchester isn’t the only person to have a political sign stolen this week. Susan Woertheim said her sign was also taken from her yard.

“We originally had it in the other part of our yard, and then it was stolen, so I went up to the Trump victory headquarters and got another one," she said. “At the same time, our neighbors had three signs, and they were stolen.”

Omaha Police said stolen political signs can be reported, but City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse said the crime can be difficult to prove.

“Video cameras and Ring doorbells and all that stuff is great, but seeing the person do it is not the same as being able to identify the person who did it,” he said.

Kuhse said his office sees these types of thefts every election cycle but does take the matter seriously, Those who steal the signs could rack up a number of charges, he said.

“If they took the sign, it would be a theft. If they damaged the sign, it could be damage to property. It could even be possible that it’s trespassing on people’s property, as well," he said. "The key is we have to have evidence that we can use to prove that this person did it.”

Winchester said he knows it’s a long shot to find who stole his sign but said it doesn’t matter.

“I got on Amazon first thing this morning and ordered a big flag that I’m going to hang up over my garage. If you’re going to steal from me, I’m just going to go bigger the next time,” he said.

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