EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – In another sign of how contentious this election year is, three people were caught on camera in East Haven stealing and vandalizing republican lawn signs.
Around 11:30 Sunday night, a home surveillance camera recorded three people making their way up Bradley Avenue in East Haven. One person is driving a car, the two others are slashing and grabbing political lawn signs. Francis Amendola was one of the victims.
“We had the sign put out there, because that’s our choice, and the next day we noticed that somebody had ripped it right in half,” Amendola said.
Ripped, or maybe slashed, because a close look at the video shows a person slicing one sign right down the middle, then grabbing a Donald Trump sign.
“We were mad because I don’t think anybody belongs going on your property, whoever you’re voting for,” said Amendola.
She is voting for Steve Tracey, a republican running for State Representative. He said he discovered Amendola was not alone.
“I went down there, I got tape and I taped them back up and I started driving around and I see they went down Dodge Avenue, Francis Avenue, Bradley Avenue, slicing the signs,” Tracey said.
You can see the tape right down the middle of some of the signs now on lawns. His opponent, Democratic State Representative James Albis, issued a statement calling the vandalism a petty act, which he does not condone in any way, shape or form. But Democratic Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says this kind of thing happens every year.
“People steal the signs,” Merrill said. “The kids steal them on Halloween, that’s a big deal to do, and everybody spends so much time arguing about the signs they forget to campaign, I think.”
Tracey says he is more committed than ever to campaigning.
“The more they take down, the more I’ll put up,” Tracey said. “I’ll just go back and put another one up, it doesn’t matter.”
Frances Amendola says vandalism is not a smart way to get votes.
“You could get hurt going on someone else’s property. That is trespassing,” she warned. “I’ll put two signs out there, so if they rip one, I’ll have another one.”
Which means damaging lawn signs is not only illegal, it is counter-productive, too. The people who lose their lawn signs just want to put more up.