With the elections drawing closer, the race for selectmen in Sherborn is heating up.
Both candidates have agreed to a and last Saturday Sherborn Police received several reports of political signs, supporting both candidates Paul DeRensis and Peter Liffiton, being stolen and taken off of peoples' property.
“We just got the calls from the homeowners saying that their signs had been stolen or pulled up out of the ground,” said Sherborn Police Officer Ben Stickney. “Some from both parties were pulled up.”
DeRensis said that 47 of his signs were stolen and 25 are still missing. Liffiton said that he recovered 18 signs and is still missing some.
“It’s definitely illegal to take them,” Stickney said. “It’s the candidates that pay for the signs.”
“There was widespread disruption with the political signs,” Liffiton said. “I recovered 18 signs, 14 at the police station and four that I found on ground on Maple Street."
"The police department had eight of Paul’s signs thrown on their lawn," said Linda DeRensis, Paul's wife and sign organizer.
According to the Sherborn Police logs, there were four reported complaints of either found or missing signs from Snow Street to Ivy Lane to Page Farm Road on Saturday.
“One person from my campaign sent me an email at 4:30 in the morning to say that 3 or 4 signs were moved from their property," said Liffiton. “So I went to the police station and by the time I got to the police station there were 14 of them there.”
According to the police log, people were pulling up the signs of one candidate and leaving behind the signs of the other candidate and vice versa.
“When they dropped off the signs they were just strewn flat on the driveways of the opposite side of the supporter,” said Liffiton.
“We didn’t find anybody or figure out who it was,” Stickney said. "It seems like it happens every year with people campaigning."
The signs are owned by the campaign of each candidate and both DeRensis and Liffiton said that they cost about $20-$25 apiece.
“It’s nothing new but it’s unfortunate,” said Liffiton. “If the signs don’t get returned they’re not cheap.”
DeRensis said that the money isn't as important as getting more signs for those whose signs were lost.
Both candidates said that they would rather focus on the election than on people stealing signs.
Here are the four reports in the Sherborn Police log:
Saturday- April 23, 2011
Walk-in Complaint- 7:49 a.m.
Washington Street, Sherborn Police Department- Reporting party stated that DeRensis signs were being pulled and replaced with Liffiton signs.
Walk-in Complaint- 8:47 a.m.
Ivy Lane- Report of DeRensis sign being stolen and seven Liffiton signs left behind laying flat at the end of the driveway.
Walk-in Complaint- 10:14 a.m.
Page Farm Road- Reporting party found eight DeRensis signs and one Liffiton sign in this area. Reporting party is still missing 12 signs.
Walk-in Complaint- 11:00 a.m.
Snow Street and Forest Street- Three DeRensis, six Liffiton signs found in this area.