Current events: Electric fence deters Trump sign thieves

Weird - Off Beat

In this Sept. 14, 2020 photo, an electric fence surrounds a campaign sign for President Donald Trump in John Oliveira’s yard in New Bedford, Mass. Oliveira said he installed the fence to protect his sign after several were stolen from his lawn during the summer. (John Oliveira via AP)

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man tired of people stealing his Donald Trump campaign sign has come up with a shocking solution: an electrified fence around it.

John Oliveira, 54, a disabled Navy veteran and a member of the New Bedford School Committee, put the fence up a few weeks ago.

Oliveira told Southcoasttoday.com, which first reported the story, that he started displaying a Trump sign on his lawn in late May. The first one disappeared in July.

In all, six signs were taken, he told The Boston Globe.

His latest sign has not been stolen since the fence went up.

“I’m defending my property and my right to free speech,” he said.

The yellow and black solar-powered fence, purchased from a farm supply store, is about 3 1/2 feet high. It has warning signs in English, Spanish and French.

He has informed police of the thefts.

The fence is not pretty, he acknowledged. “But I’m not going to not put a sign up because somebody keeps stealing it or somebody keeps taking it because they don’t like what I’m saying,” he said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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