Question: I have noticed reports of political signs disappearing lately. Is this typically caused by people actually stealing them or is it the highway department picking them up?
Answer: I’m guessing it’s a little of both. We certainly have dealt with several incidents involving actual thefts of different signs and flags around the county, but we have also had signs legitimately picked up as well.
I say “legitimately picked up,” because signs that are placed within the road right-of-way are subject to removal by law enforcement or that roadway’s road authority (Minnesota Department of Transportation, Hubbard County Highway Department or the township).
Stealing another person’s sign is certainly illegal, and something that you can be arrested for.
If you have had signs taken, and if they were possibly too close to the road and within the right-of-way, I would first check with the road authority to see if they possibly picked up your sign.
You typically can get your signs back, as they are usually dropped off at the MnDOT building if they were along a state highway. The Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office can also investigate the theft if it appears they were truly stolen.