WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Inevitably, campaign signs pop each election cycle on public roads and in private yards, but they don’t always stay put.
“The minute we put one up about two days or three days later one was taken,” Amy Byers said.
Byers lives in the Forest Hills neighborhood in Wilmington. She’s been displaying campaign signs since August and she says at least five have been stolen.
She says a sign was stolen Sunday night, so she replaced it with two more on Monday and put them closer to her home this time.
But on Tuesday morning, she says the signs were gone.
“It shocked me because they were practically at our front door,” Byers said.
Additionally, she says a large flag was partially ripped and partially cut from their gate that is even further into their yard than their front door, meaning someone came very far into their yard to steal the item.
She says this left the gate damaged, so she filed a police report.
Now, she says she’s left feeling unsafe in her own home, but she isn’t giving up.
“Fear is the absence of faith and I’m not going to let fear control me,” she said.
With a firm belief in freedom of speech, Byers sends a message.
“I’m going to make a sign that says, ‘you can steal my sign but you can’t steal my vote.’ And that’s really what my stance is,” Byers said.
She says it’s not about which party you support.
“If your Biden sign was taken, if your Trump sign was taken, if your Dan Forest sign was taken or your Roy Cooper sign was taken we are all together,” Byers said. “You are not alone and I just urge people, don’t be scared into submission.”
Summing up her thoughts simply.
“I just think we all need to respect each other’s opinions,” Byers said.
Wilmington Police are investigating this incident. Byers says the suspect could be charged with trespassing and vandalism.
A Wilmington Police Spokesperson says they have received four reports of stolen campaign signs, compared to five cases in 2016.