Vandalizing, stealing political signs against the law in Arizona
PHOENIX — As election season continues to ramp up, several police departments across the Valley have said they’ve received multiple reports of political signs being vandalized or stolen, which is considered a crime in Arizona.
“Arizona law says that if any political signs are removed, intentionally damaged or defaced, the defendant is looking at a $750 fine per sign and up to four months in jail since this is a class two misdemeanor,” KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said.
Thieves and vandals would also have to pay restitution for the cost of the signs and any related damage.
There would need to be proof, such as pictures, video or witness testimony, which Lindstrom said may be hard to get.
Over the weekend, the Goodyear Police Department received 29 calls about stolen campaign signs supporting President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
The Mesa Police Department had an incident reported last week and another over the weekend. Both incidents involved a white male in his late teens or early 20’s stealing campaign signs in front of homes. A suspect has not been identified.
The Tempe Police Department has gotten four reports pertaining to theft or destruction of political signs in the last two weeks.
Since June, the Surprise Police Department has gotten five reports of campaign signs being stolen.
The Chandler Police Department had 12 incidents reported either for damage or theft of political signs from August 1 through Sunday.
A political action committee, Arizona Republicans Who Believe in Treating Others With Respect, told KTAR News 92.3 FM they’ve had many of their signs vandalized. The group is made up of Republicans who support former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We have put up 1,200 yard signs,” Daniel Barker, president of the committee, said. “So far, more than half of that have been taken down — literally hundreds.”
One of their signs with the message “Arizona Republicans for Biden” was partially covered with stickers supporting Trump and Pence.