Candidate claims campaign signs were stolen

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With the election just around the corner, one candidate has a big complaint. She said her campaign signs have been disappearing.

Barbara Thomas is running for state representative. She claims the issue of the missing signs is limited to one neighborhood.

There aren't many campaign signs in the yards of people who live in the Scotlandville area of north Baton Rouge, specifically the Avenues. However, Thomas said that wasn't the case just three weeks ago.

"We had about 70-plus signs out in this neighborhood and the owners of the property agreed to them being there and they're disappearing," said Thomas.

A search turned up a few of her signs behind fences, while one was on the ground. The search even revealed a handful of signs for her three opponents in the race.

The Department of Public Works said it hasn't received any calls or complaints from the area asking them to pick up any signs. Law enforcement said it all depends on where the sign is located.

"Anytime you place a sign on a public right-of-way or public property, it's considered litter and any private person can remove that sign and dispose of it," said Sgt. Don Stone with the Baton Rouge Police Department.

For example, a sign on a light pole or the area between a sidewalk and the roadway is against the law. It is a law some people take into their own hands.

"There are several private citizens in Baton Rouge that I have personally encountered that that is what they do on a daily basis…ride around town and remove those signs," Stone explained.

On the other hand, if it's in someone's front yard, which is private property, removing a sign is a misdemeanor offense.

Primary elections are set for Oct. 22.

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