Candidate Fuller offering $1,000 reward for info on sign thief

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Submitted: Mon, 11/07/2011 - 2:17pm
Updated: Mon, 11/07/2011 - 9:48pm

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Napier Fuller, Candidate for Wilmington City Council released this statement:

“Yesterday, about fifty of my political yard signs were stolen near the Landfall main gate and near Autumn Hall. Also, many other candidates’ signs — Padgett, Saffo, Anderson, etc. — also vanished overnight in this area. At 4:30am today I went to check on my signs, and I noticed this theft. I have replaced many of them.”

“I am offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and the conviction of the person(s) responsible. All of these signs were installed legally under a new law, Senate Bill 315, that took effect on October 1, 2011.”

“This law permits candidates for an upcoming election to place unlimited yard signs in the NCDOT right-of-way in roads under the state’s control. It is a class 3 misdemeanor for someone to deface or steal a political yard sign; maximum penalty includes 20 days in jail and a $200 fine.”

“With turnout averaging less than 20%, we candidates need to make the public aware that there is, in fact, an election tomorrow. I ask for the public’s help in protecting all candidate’s signs. Please call the Wilmington Police if you see any violations.”

“All of my stolen signs have stickers that clearly indicated that they were legally installed and that it is against the law to remove them. I am irked to have these signs stolen as I really needed them for the polls on Tuesday.”

“I ask for the local media’s help to inform the public about the new laws regarding political signs.”

UPDATE: “I have just spoken to an eyewitness that saw two young men in a red pickup truck on Eastwood Road yesterday, Sunday November 6th, afternoon picking up my campaign signs. I appeal to the public for more information. Again, all my stolen signs have labels that clearly state that they are installed legally and that removal is unlawful.”


  • brendle99 says:

    What a cry baby. I bet the other kids used to hold him upside down, and shake the lunch money out of his pockets.
    Signs don’t make the man, but these kind of appeals to pity do. I’m not impressed.
    After he looses the election, I hope he picks up his toys (signs), and goes home quietly.

  • guesty says:

    Whatever. Are you happy?

  • campaignsignspollute says:

    The signs that are being taken are placed ILLEGALLY on public property. If the signs are placed on public property, they belong to the public. Stealing is when you take one from in front of someone’s home that is on Private Property. Capiche???????

  • anne says:

    Seeing any of the candidate’s signs all over town does not make me want to vote for them anymore than seeing car commercials over and over make me want to buy that make of car. It only serves to irritate me. The signs are ugly and unnecessary. If people don’t know who you are, that little sign will not help. Another pet peeve – why is it so necessary to put more than one of your signs in a specific area? Sometimes you will see 3 or 4 signs for the same person in one area. That really irritates me. If the ordinance says they shouldn’t be in the right of way, then Wilmington and others need to clean them up and get rid of them. I bet if the truth was known, the money you spent on the signs probably could have been spent better on flyers or a short commercial. Do I agree with the people that are going around tearing them down? No. Stealing is stealing regardless of the item, but I can’t say I blame them for doing so.

  • Guest228 says:

    How about donate that $1,000 to the United Way, The Salvation Army Christmas Angel Tree, or the Good Shepard House, instead Fuller want to use it to find who stole some signs? This world has bigger problems but yet lets put priority of a thief stealing campaign signs than our social issues..and shame on WWAY for wasting internet space with this story when there are clearly more news worthy stories.

  • Guest2012 says:

    And donate the reward to the “Salvation Army, where they do the most good”, when I take pictures of these violators of Fuller’s First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech, which political signs happen to be.
    So to all of the posts against “ugly” signs, consider two facts, 1.they may spark interest in voters learning the difference between Fuller and Fulton. (don’t vote for Fulton, he’s a newly relocated northern jerk, who it’s a lunatic, proposing to do the same stuff as brian berger, and a teapartier, supported byABLE (OH BOY!). # 2. It is putting money into a business in our community…the shop that makes signs….for legitimate businesses, art venues, posters for groups!

    BTW, VOTE forRicky. He has no HIDDEN AGENDA, NO special interests, just a heartfelt concern to operate the City government with INTEGRITY…and he can’t afford signs, so… “yippee”, he’s a good one for you perfect world folks who can’t stand a thing out of place. Remember, we all honored your right to free speech on this blog…. more power to you…. tear me apart if you want to….while ypu are still permitted rights in America! Now go comb your hair, perfect makes practice. Ooooops!

  • Guestnut says:

    I hope he finds the culprits- although how do we know this isnt a last minute effort by this wimp and loser for free publicity. Still, giving him the benefit of the doubt he is not supported by many because he is a RINO, a pawn of the old guard and he has taken cheap shots at some who deserve better from him. Better Padgett and others who stand for something than this weak loser. Hope he finds culprits (if it wasnt him) but he loses election. He doesnt deserve our votes

  • Guest228 says:

    Why was none stolen from the poverty neighborhoods where apparently there is nothing but high crime? Oh wait, there weren’t none posted..

  • Guest111 says:

    There weren’t ANY posted. . . geez

  • KeepOurNeighborhoodsBeautiful says:

    I commend those who are stealing those plastic signs–political and commercial. They are an eyesore and create a chaotic environment. I have taken up dozens myself, and I will continue to do so if they are planted in my community.

  • Guest111 says:

    You know, the fact the signs are gone is not necessarily because of politics. A LOT of people don’t like to see the clutter. They are ugly and take away from the beauty of an area. Maybe someone is just tired of seeing them all over the place. Two sides to every story.

  • Guest22255 says:

    Politicians, I consider myself a pretty average person. I’m not particularly smart or dumb but I am well informed. I have never once voted for or even found out about a politician because of these ugly signs which are a waste of resources and are just annoying. I find out about candidates via watching tv news, the politician’s commercials, the newspapers, meeting them myself and these days, I go to their web sites. If I have specific questions, I ask them. If anyone out there is actually voting for politicians because of the presence of these signs, then please stop using them because we really don’t want that idiot’s vote anyhow. Then again, is that really what politicians want – the dumbest, least informed voters who vote for whomever has the most signs?

  • guesty says:

    The city and/or county should impose fines upon the person named on the signs if they are still out two weeks past election. Granted, there will be some that will collect signs of people they don’t like and post after that time is up, but that would be the cost of running. Or make them pay for every sign they want to post and use that money to fund a cleanup starting the day after election day.

  • Guest9999 says:

    Those signs should be outlawed. They also are a terrible distraction to drives. I absolutely hate them, and like the above poster, I will keep “stealing” them and destroying them.

  • campaignsignspollute says:

    City Ordinance 9-3162 subsection (g) states in part, “Political campaign signs may be posted on private property only”, and City Ordinance 9-3165 subsection (f) states in part, “Freestanding signs are prohibited within a public right-of-way except when erected by a governmental agency.”.
    The new law, Senate Bill 315 enacted on 10/1/2011 by a bunch of power hungry, self serving state Senators states that Municipal ordinances CAN and WILL override this legislation.
    In Wilmington, new law or not, campaign signs anywhere but on Private Property are illegal.
    I urge people to respect signs that are placed on Private Property. It is everyone’s right to support who they choose by advertising that person’s name on THEIR property.
    On the other hand, I urge individuals to help clean up Public land where signs are placed illegally. Within the Municipality of Wilmington, signs placed in the right-of-way of public streets and highways are illegal, period. Signs anywhere but on Private Property are illegal, period.
    If Mr. Fuller and the City Commissioners want, they can repeal the ordinance and while they’re at it, they can stop bullying business owners over what signs they can and can’t place in their own windows.
    And finally to Mr. Fuller. There is WECT footage of me removing one of your signs after 10/1/2011. Do I get the reward for turning myself in? Oh wait, it’s only if I’m convicted and you can’t convict me because I didn’t break the law………….However, you and every other candidate did, so do the voters a favor and turn yourselves in.

  • Guest454654564 says:

    realize state law in this case over rides city ordinances

  • Guest2020 says:

    So you are saying that the citizens should take the law into their own hands? If laws are being broken in reference to where the signs are placed, then it is a matter for the law enforcement community to enforce the laws, not the citizens.

  • believeitornot says:

    I was out of town with a friend this weekend in a town that has no ordinance against political signs. They were everywhere! My friend (a Wilmington city resident) asked me if there is an election coming up.?

    My point is that there are people (many more than one might suspect) who rely on those signs, not only to remind them TO vote – but also to possibly make an impression upon voters who have no idea who the candidates are. If they don’t recognize the candidates, i doubt they have a clue about the issues the city is facing.


  • campaignsignspollute says:

    A campaign sign on Public Property should tell a person who NOT to vote for.

  • campaignsignspollute says:

    The Department of transportation admits they do not have the manpower to clean up the ILLEGALLY placed signs which they are in charge of doing, and law enforcement is part of the problem since they are ignoring the law themselves as candidates for sheriff break the law with the placement of their signs as well.
    If they are not going to enforce the law, then citizens can and should. What I’m doing is legal, obviously, cuz everyone knows who I am and they haven’t arrested me in two years. If I’m breaking a law, come get me.

  • campaignsignspollute says:

    S315 specifically states a local ordinance is the only way to override this State Law. Wilmington has such an ordinance. Wilmington trumps the State. Check mate.

  • campaignsignspollute says:

    Since the signs being removed are illegally placed, there will be no reward. You’ll have to get your money for the Salvation Army some other way.
    Your #2 above is made even better by those who remove ILLEGAL signs, by making candidates go back and buy more.
    As for the rest of your gibberish, laws are made for everyone. When public officials violate clearly written laws, how can they expect the citizenry to respect laws.
    Bottom line is THE SIGNS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY ARE ILLEGAL. Prove to me they’re not. Go ahead. I’m waiting. Show me ordinances that contradict the ones I’ve posted. You can’t. They don’t exist.
    Freedom of Speech does not give one the right to break laws.

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