by WorldTribune Staff, October 26, 2016
Stealing Trump campaign signs from a supporter’s lawn is not a crime as it is “the season for these things to happen,” a police officer in Fairfax, Virginia told a citizen who had reported the theft of a sign.
The citizen who reported the incident subsequently learned that there have been a rash of such incidents. He submitted the following account of the Oct. 22 incident to the Fairfax Free Citizen:
“I witnessed a teenage boy in the car behind me hop out and run over to where a Trump campaign sign was staked in someone’s yard. He went up, yanked out the sign, and ran back to the car driven by a woman possibly in her early 20s.
“Realizing that I just witnessed a theft of yet another Trump supporter’s campaign sign, I got out of my car and went up to the car behind me. I pointed at the campaign sign that was now on top of the dashboard and steering wheel making any kind of driving hazardous. I pointed at the boy and then motioned with my hand for him to return the sign to the person’s yard. They refused, and the woman started demonstrating vulgar hand gestures at me. I again pointed at the campaign sign and the boy. The woman ignored me but starting honking her horn and locked her car doors. I politely knocked on her window, and the only response I got was more vulgar hand gestures.
“I went to the front of her car and took two pictures, one of the thieves and the other of their license plate number. It was at this time that the woman started gunning her engine with tires screeching, threatening to run me over and crush me against my car which was in between her car and me. Fearing for my safety, I jumped back in my car and the female driver raced away driving with the stolen campaign still on top of her steering wheel.”
The citizen then reported the incident to Fairfax County Police.
Several hours after the citizen’s call, a police officer was dispatched to her home.
“Next time this happens, you shouldn’t confront the person, you should just call us,” the officer said.
The citizen continued: “I asked what was going to happen to the perpetrators, and his response was in effect nothing. ‘No crime has been committed. This is the season for these things to happen.’
“I replied: ‘Stealing property out of someone’s yard is not a crime?’ No, he replied, only if the homeowner witnessed it and filed a complaint.
“The officer had no interest in seeing my pictures of the perpetrators; he got back in his car and drove away.
“Since I first reported this incident to the Republican Party, I’ve been flooded with comments from folks in Virginia and other states who’ve had their Trump campaign signs stolen from their yards. It is a violation of our right to free speech.”