Stolen political signs are being reported across the country and in West Michigan.

The owner of a stolen Trump sign in Byron Center left a message for the thief.

The large, 8-foot sign was placed at the corner of 76th Street and Homerich in Byron Township in Kent County on Thursday, October 27.

By Sunday, October 30, the sign was gone. The large support stakes remained along with a message for the thief.

Matt Milhouse, TSM

By October 31, a smaller Trump yard sign was added alongside the message.

Matt Milhouse, TSM

Stealing political signs is a criminal act. Roadside signs must follow many rules in order to meet proper placement. Signs which don't meet those rules can be removed by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) or the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC).

We checked with KCRC and MDOT. They did not remove the sign.

Maura Lamoreaux of KCRC talked about the total number of signs removed for improper placement this year:

This year, we have seen a smaller number of political signs obstructing vision in the right-of-way than in years past.
 
KCRC does not actively seek to remove political signs. We respond to complaints made by motorists, but if our crews are conducting their regular activities and see a sign that obstructs vision in the right-of-way, the sign will be removed and taken to one of our complexes, where the sign owner may retrieve it.
 
In total, among our four complexes, we have about 75-125 political signs that have been removed – this does not account for any signs that already have been retrieved.

MDOT maintains and oversees most US, M and I routes. This Byron Township intersection falls under the KCRC's jurisdiction. MDOT reports nothing out of the ordinary with political signs along the roadways they take care of.

Supporting and arguing against candidates and issues is an important part of our political process. Roadside signs offer a simple and respectful way to share your opinion.

Stolen political signs are the epitome of intolerance. Rather than offer another option, sign thieves aim to silence the voice of their opposition. Their inability to accept differing opinions shows the same lack of respect that is so often the root of the problem in today's political culture.

Matt Milhouse, TSM