Laurinburg mayor: Sign theft ‘a no-no’


1signsDSCN0095LAURINBURG — Mayor Tommy Parker said he is not sure who snatched nearly a dozen of his campaign signs from along McGirts Bridge Road, but he would like for it to stop.

“That’s out of bounds as far as I’m concerned,” Parker said Tuesday.

Laurinburg police say they recovered Parker’s political signs Saturday night in a dumpster on the campus of Scotland Memorial Hospital. The red, white and blue signs said Re-elect Tommy Parker Mayor.

Surveillance video from the hospital shows a man taking the signs out of a vehicle and putting them in a dumpster, according to police.

“You see a figure on the tape and what looks like a dark SUV, but you really can’t make out the person or the make or model,” said Laurinburg Police Chief Darwin “Duke” Williams.

According to the police chief, one of his new officers observed a man collecting Parker’s signs late Friday night near McGirts Bridge Road, but the officer assumed the man was with the Parker campaign. Williams said the signs were returned to Parker on Monday.

Williams said tampering or removing someone else’s political sign is a misdemeanor.

Parker, who is seeking his second term as mayor against Dr. Matthew Block, said he “does not plan to pursue charges at this time.”

Parker said he has had “a handful of signs run over” and about three of his re-election signs removed from state roads by the N.C. Department of Transportation, but none had been stolen until now.

“Messing with campaign signs is a no-no,” Parker said. “Not only do they cost money, but you should respect a candidate’s right to put them up. I would prefer that people leave my signs alone.”

Block said no one from his campaign has touched any of Parker’s signs. Block added that he has had his own campaign signs knocked down or damaged.

“I don’t know why people do that,”said Block, who served as mayor from 2007 to 2011. “It is something that happens every election season. I don’t know that political signs really make that much of a difference to voters, but you put them up because the other candidates do.”

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Contributed photo Laurinburg police took this photograph of the Parker campaign signs that officers found Saturday inside a dumpster near Scotland Memorial Hospital.
http://laurinburgexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_1signsDSCN0095_cmyk.jpgContributed photo Laurinburg police took this photograph of the Parker campaign signs that officers found Saturday inside a dumpster near Scotland Memorial Hospital.

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Police say campaign materials found in dumpster

By Scott Witten

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Reach editor Scott Witten at 910-506-3023.

 

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