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Caught on camera: political sign thefts

Posted at 9:12 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 12:57:10-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Doorbell camera systems have recently captured three instances of thieves stealing political signs from front yards.

The first occurred Aug. 12: Jesse Lopez says he woke up to find the campaign signs in support of President Donald Trump missing from his front yard.

Lopez, who lives near Carroll High School, replaced the signs, but two and a half weeks later, they were gone again.

Lopez's Ring doorbell camera captured both thefts, but it's the second one that's more troubling to him and his wife.

“This time, the sign was mounted on the security door -- the inside of my security door," Lopez said. "(The thief) had to put her hand into the security door and bypass the perimeter of the door in order to destroy a sign."

"Grab (the signs) from the yard -- I don’t care," Thelma Lopez said. "But when you come to that door, that’s our privacy, and that’s fear, and that’s too much.”

Sandwiched in between the Trump sign-thefts caught on camera, someone stole a sign supporting presidential candidate Joe Biden on Aug. 18 from a home near Corpus Christi Country Club.

The political director for the Nueces County Democrats said, no matter which candidate you support, you should leave campaign signs alone.

"Regardless of what sign is up there from what party or what candidate, it should be respected," said Joseph Ramirez. "Political signs are a form of speech, and as we know, speech is protected under the constitution."

Lopez hopes Corpus Christi police arrest and take further action against the people who stole his signs, but he's still unclear of their motive.

“Does (the thief) think that by taking my sign it’s going to change my vote?" he said. "Does she think by taking my sign, it’s going to scare me? Look around. I have more signs!"

Ramirez has a suggestion for anyone seeking an outlet to express their political opinions.

“If you don’t like that candidate, don’t take the sign," he said. "Go to his opponent and say, ‘How can I help?' ”