Business owner in Castle Hayne sick of thieves taking campaign signs

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –  Early voting is underway for the upcoming May primary in our area. During the election season, it’s not unusual for candidates to see their signs along roads stolen.

We’re hearing from one business owner who is calling out the thieves she believes are stealing signs from her storefront property.

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Dolores Swope has had to put out a total of six signs in front of her resale store, Sunshine Cottage. The signs are for John Bauer, one of three democratic candidates for state House district 20. Swope says the last four have all been stolen. Two instances, Swope has come to work and noticed the signs were gone.

“The fact that somebody took the sign, that bothers me. Because they took a sign, are they going to take something else?” Swope said.

Swope herself cannot be swayed by any candidate, she lives in Pender County and says she cannot vote in the district 20 race.



“Anybody is welcome to put their sign up,” said Swope as she applies her third line of tape on the sign.

She is making sure it will hopefully be the last time she puts the signs up. She does not know who is taking the signs, but she says what is not welcome is theft, no matter the intent.

“These look like small elections, but they’re big elections because they’re here to serve the people,” Swope said.

Talking to the candidate himself, Bauer says these are not the only signs he has lost, but he’s looking on the brighter side of things.

“You got to laugh at it I mean you just got to replace the signs put them out there, hopefully your name gets out there and hopefully people will vote for you,” said Bauer.

We reached out to Bauer’s opponents, Gary Shipman and Leslie Cohen, to see if they were having similar problems or knew about what was happening at the store. We are waiting to hear back.