NEW BRITAIN - With less than a month to the municipal election, reports of campaign sign thefts are coming from Republicans and Democrats.
A 30-second, surveillance video posted on Mayor Erin Stewart’s Facebook page Saturday afternoon shows two people walking outside the Republicans’ campaign headquarters at 456 East St. One of them, carrying a flashlight, took at least two signs from the property.
In the post, Stewart wrote that her sign and those of Aldermen Jerrell Hargraves and Kristian Rosado’s sign were the only ones taken.
New Britain Police Capt. Christopher Chute said the thefts, which happened Friday night, are under investigation.
Chute said the department was notified Saturday of more sign thefts on the city’s east side.
“The video on Facebook is helpful, and we ask anyone with any information to contact us,” Chute told The Herald on Monday.
Republican Town Committee Chairman Tony Cane said that the party wants the signs back and those who stole them caught.
“This happens every year, but we have it on video this time,” Cane said.
Cane said he has heard reports about signs being taken in other areas, and has even had his own Stewart sign in his yard knocked over. Cane said he’s told candidates and residents to report to police if any signs are stolen.
Democratic Town Committee Chairman Bill Shortell said he’s also heard of people stealing signs for Democratic candidates, notably three or four on Glen Street and Monroe Street. Shortell said signs have also disappeared from properties on Bedford Street and Helen Drive.
He said the sign stealing on both sides is unfortunate, but it has happened in years past and the party is not concerned.
“We’re very focused on knocking on doors, talking to people and calling voters,” Shortell said.
Chute said that those caught stealing signs could be charged with sixth-degree larceny and possibly trespassing and breach of peace charges, depending on the incident.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at email@example.com.