By his own admission, Adam Bristor was never the type of person to put out a campaign sign. But this year, the 15th Avenue North resident and his wife felt so strongly about the marriage amendment that they put out a sign urging people to vote against it.
Bristor’s sign didn’t last long. It was up just three weeks before someone stole the sign.
“I guess it’s a way of disagreeing politically, but it’s sad,” he said.
Hopkins police don’t have an easy way to track exactly how many campaign signs have been stolen, but numerous residents around the community say their signs have gone missing.
Bristor said he knows of at least two specific signs in his area that were stolen and added that a number of other neighbors also had theirs taken or decided to take them down. An Avenues resident described “a rash” of political sign stealing and said she was on her third Obama sign.
While most of the known Hopkins victims appear to have had left-leaning signs, that may just reflect the political makeup of the heavily DFL city. In Shakopee, several signs urging a yes vote on the marriage amendment were stolen a couple weeks ago. Minnetonka has had signs stolen from across the political spectrum, as has Eden Prairie.
Theft isn’t even the only problem. Someone vandalized two large anti-marriage amendment signs north of Albertville, while the same thing happened to a pro-amendment sign in Edina.
By all accounts, thefts and vandalism span the spectrum of communities and political causes.
Bristor allowed that kids could be responsible for the stolen sign, but he thinks the incident is due to the politically polarized climate.
“It seems like in the past we could disagree politically and still have a healthy respect for our neighbors,” he said. “I was really surprised. We know a lot of our neighbors.”
That’s not going to stop the family from sharing their views, though. After the theft, Bristor’s wife made her own sign out of cardboard and duct tape.
“This used to say vote no until somebody stole it,” the homemade sign read.
Have you had a sign stolen or vandalized? Please add a marker to the map above. Simply click the "Add" button, supply your name and additional information (what happened to the sign and what type of sign it was) and enter an address. If you don't want to give an exact address, an intersection will do. Also, please enter the date your sign was stolen.
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