During the 2020 election season, tensions were high – and record numbers of political yard signs were stolen and vandalized. And while the act of stealing lawn signs has been around since the yard sign was invented, it’s important that you can keep them displayed proudly on your front lawn.
If you’re here to search for advice on how to electrify your yard sign, unfortunately, we can’t provide those tips. What we can tell you, however, is that there are simple, straightforward ways to ensure that these items stay put. Even though yard signs are cheap, people spend considerable time and effort installing them, so campaign yard sign thieves shouldn’t just get a free pass.
Is Stealing Lawn Signs Illegal?
Absolutely, yes. Theft and vandalism of political signs is a crime, and so is trespassing on private property. Most states consider these misdemeanors, but if multiple signs have been vandalized, these charges can quickly add up.
“Is It Illegal to Electrify a Yard Sign?”
We understand that you don’t want to lose products you’ve paid for with your hard-earned money. But let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do.
Out in Washington, Ray Gilbride used copper wire to hook his sign up to a non-lethal electric fence. As he explained, “Situational ethics is wrong. Stealing is stealing. You’ve got to go back to the basics: If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”
While Gilbridge consulted with police to ensure its legality, this sort of situation likely depends on the local jurisdiction (and SuperCheapSigns obviously can’t provide you with legal advice).
How to Booby Trap a Yard Sign
If you want to avoid potential lawsuits but need to prevent yard sign theft, there are plenty of colorful methods that people have employed. Your booby trap needs to be effective but also has to ensure that no one gets hurt.
Rub Some Vaseline on It
The internet is filled with references of covering the backs of political signs with vaseline, and that it works well because it’s a substance with a disturbing texture. Some people have gone as far as to suggest using fecal matter as a deterrent, but this is ill-advised.
It Needs More Cowbell
After losing four of their lawn signs to thieves, a Pennsylvania couple created their own sign out of 4’x8’ sheets of plywood. Two alarms were connected to a tripwire with another silent alarm triggered inside the house when someone walked onto the property. Not to be outdone, a surveillance camera was also installed to catch perpetrators red-handed.
One Indiana resident connected a fishing line between his lawn signs and his front porch to keep them from being taken away. He went one step further by adding another thin green string along the ground to trip up thieves. The Indianapolis citizen claimed to be “2-and-0” with his clearly effective and (mostly) harmless method.
It Doesn’t Always Work the Way You Think…
In Massachusetts, Arthur Gonsalves placed a black box reading “Danger” on one of his political signs and some colorful wires dangling from it. It seemed harmless enough…until local police treated the “booby trap” seriously, calling the state bomb squad in to investigate.
While Mr. Gonsalves told the authorities that it was fashioned from his old stereo system’s equalizer, it probably wasn’t the best way to go about protecting his yard sign.
Simpler Ways to Prevent Yard Signs from Being Stolen
If you’re handy and clever, we’re sure that you can create inventive ways to keep political signs from being stolen. However, most of us could follow these straightforward rules:
- Bring your signs in at night time.
- Keep signs in your front windows or porch windows.
- Install a motion-sensing light directed at your yard signs.
If someone keeps stealing your yard signs – or you simply want to purchase something to place outside your home or business – our team offers incredibly low prices for our high-quality signs. And if you’re considering purchasing larger quantities, you’ll save substantially more. That’s the Super Cheap Signs promise!