by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ATLANTA - With less than a week until the presidential election, supporters of both candidates are reporting thefts of campaign signs in certain areas of metro Atlanta.
Betsy Kramer told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik someone stole a Romney/Ryan campaign sign from in front yard of her Johns Creek home last week.
“I just felt violated,” she said. “They’re infringing on my freedom of speech.”
Kramer said she soon noticed all of the signs that had been put out along Buice Road were also gone.
“It was unnerving that someone would take the signs,” she said. “It shows how desperate they are.”
Fulton County Republican Party Chairman Roger Bonds said he’s hearing from hundreds of homeowners who’ve had similar thefts across the metro area.
“It’s the worst ever,” he told Petchenik. “They’ve even gone into some neighborhoods and taken every sign out of the neighborhood.”
Bonds said he’s among the victims after someone removed two signs from outside of his Roswell office Tuesday night.
“It’s obviously some individuals don’t have a lot of respect for our constitutional rights to vote,” he said. “This is despicable.”
Shelly Hutchinson told Petchenik someone stole an Obama/Biden sign from her Snellville lawn, then burned it, before replacing it with a Romney sign.
“My son was quite disturbed. He didn’t know why someone would do such a thing,” she said. “It’s either someone with problems or some teenagers listening to what other people say in their house and are just on a rampage in our neighborhood.”
Roswell police were investigating a report of someone spray painting an Obama campaign sign on a supporter’s front lawn.
Eric Gray, communications director for the Georgia Democratic Party, said he’s hearing of cases across the state, including one in Macon in which someone filled a truck with stolen Obama/Biden signs.
“This year it appears to be more of a problem,” he said. “These kinds of intimidation tactics we stand against wholeheartedly.”