ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a contentious campaign season with people removing, stealing, and vandalizing signs. Some are even messing with peoples’ cars. It’s no secret that things get heated around election time but people said they are fed up with all the sign-stealing this year.
It’s a popular spot for campaign signs, greeting drivers as they enter the Petroglyph Plaza Shopping Center on the westside. The island between Starbucks and Smith’s is filled with campaign signs but people found themselves digging some out of the trash earlier this week.
A man who just left Starbucks and a woman who was driving by, Molly Strosnider, both said they saw a Starbucks worker in uniform grab three Trump-Pence signs and throw them away. They said they confronted the worker, who told them he was removing the signs because it was private property. “The fact that he just threw them in the dumpster like it was nothing, and it’s wrong,” Strosnider said. “It is wrong, and I would do that for any person that had their signs up.”
There have been reports of political sign theft and vandalism all over the state. Some have even reported people putting unwanted political stickers on their cars.
Both people wanted answers from Starbucks. The manager confirmed it was their employee, but said he was not working. “He works here, but he isn’t on the clock right now, and it wasn’t anything to do with us at all that we were doing,” the manager said at the time.
In a statement, Starbucks said they determined that all three Trump signs were in the way of a crosswalk from Starbucks leading to the island. Starbucks said the worker acted appropriately as obstructions that block access to sidewalks in front of stores are removed for the safety of customers and employees. Starbucks said it was not an act that targeted one specific candidate and the signs were relocated. However, Strosnider said the signs were not blocking the crosswalk and only the Trump ones were removed.
BCSO said there has been at least one report of vandalism or theft of political signs in the last 30 days. The Albuquerque Police Department said it does not track that kind of vandalism specifically. APD said vandalism to a political sign is classified as criminal damage.
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