Yes, indeed, the Take Back Ladue, Vote No on Prop 1 in Ladue signs are disappearing in droves. Rick Knox, police chief for the City of Olivette reports some 15 signs missing near Stoneleigh Towers subdivision on Price Road.
“The report just came across my desk. Someone said these signs were stolen and reported that about 6 p.m. (Tuesday night),” chief Knox told Patch.
Chief Rich Wooten is experiencing a similar situation in the City of Ladue. “I don’t know the exact number, but residents are reporting their campaign signs being stolen along Conway, Ladue and Litzsinger roads.”
Some signs, placed illegally in easements and right-of-way are being removed by the Ladue Public Works Department per city ordinance. “The public works staff takes down those illegally placed signs and then documents their action,” said the Ladue chief.
Illegally placed signs are stored at public works and can be retrieved by campaign officials.
Chief Wooten researched the state statute pertaining to election rules. He found section 19 of that statute which deals with the willful defacing, mutilating, destroying or removing campaign signs from private property. "At least, the person removing a sign is trespassing on private property," he said.
The ordinance clearly states that any of the above mentioned offenses interferes with the rights of candidates or issues (as in the case of Prop 1) and is classified as an election class four offense.
“I’m not sure what those signs are worth, maybe $5, maybe $10 each, but if someone is caught stealing signs, residents may prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
Wooten notes that all of the signs are being stolen over night “They are in homeowner’s yards over night, and when they get up, they are missing,” said the Ladue chief.
Officials from the Commit2Ladue committee vow it is not their people doing the stealing. They speculate that it might be school-aged kids taking down these signs.
Chief Tom Becker reports that so far no signs are reported missing in the City of Frontenac. “Nothing has come across my desk concerning this,” said the Frontenac chief.
The Ladue-Frontenac Patch will continue to report if any more campaign signs are being stolen prior to the election April 3.