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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Suspect steals political signs

Police say it's happening across WNY.
Posted at 4:11 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 19:25:41-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Police here in Western New York say they’re seeing an uptick in people stealing political signs from others lawns.

Bill Purcell from Amherst says his doorbell camera caught a suspect stealing his Trump sign from his lawn Saturday shortly before 9:00 p.m.

“It’s kind sad being that our democracy is founded on our amendment rights for free speech,” he said.

Purcell says both he and his neighbor had political signs stolen.

The video shows a man, parking on the Amherst side street and walking up to Purcell’s home shielding his face, all before grabbing the sign and walking away.

Some people we talked with say they’ve had multiple political signs stolen from their property, and at this point cannot continue to afford to replace them.

Sheriff’s Offices in both Niagara and Chautauqua County say they’ve sent our warnings about his kind of crime.

“This year it seems to be a common occurrence,” said Trooper James O’Callaghan from the New York State Police.

Friday, State Police arrested 19 year-old Olivia Cinquinio for stealing multiple Trump signs.

Voters like Purcell say, regardless of who you support, it’s sad to see.

“Every side has a right to make their case and that’s what makes democracy great,” he said.” “So when people do these types of actions it’s really sad and needs to stop so our freedoms can flourish.”