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Video shows encounter between West Hartford homeowner and teens who stole his Trump signs

WEST HARTFORD — If you look at Jeff Weiss’ West Hartford lawn, it’s clear he’s supporting Donald Trump for president. “The signs a...

WEST HARTFORD -- If you look at Jeff Weiss' West Hartford lawn, it's clear he's supporting Donald Trump for president.

"The signs are here simply as a show of support and expression of position,” said Weiss.

But the other day he came home to two teenagers plucking them off his lawn.

"I caught them red-handed, signs in hand,” said Weiss.

Weiss told FOX 61 that when they saw him they jumped into their car, which was parked in his driveway, and that's when he started rolling on his phone. Here's some of what was said, but we have the full video here.

Jeff Weiss:  "What's your name?"

Teen: "Why do you ask?"

Jeff:  "Because I'm curious of why you're in my driveway stealing my Donald Trump signs?"

Teen: "Yes we are."

Jeff: "Why would you do such a thing?"

Teen:  "Because we just don't agree with your political views."

Weiss found the teen's reasoning disheartening.

"I was disappointed that young people today think that it's okay to suppress viewpoints they don't agree with, rather than trying to have a conversation,” Weiss explained.

Here's more of their conversation:

Jeff: "Is that the right thing to do?"

Teen: "Well we are teenagers so I think we have a little bit of leeway."

Not to mention, it's illegal to take other people's property. Weiss says he did call police.

"I chose not to press charges, but other people may not be so friendly about that,” said Weiss.

Weiss believes there are important messages here about freedom of speech, a right protected by the First Amendment, and also the need to respect other viewpoints as Americans.

"It looks like a simple prank, it's harmless, you're taking somebody's signs," said Weiss. "But the reality is its part of the bigger picture."

West Hartford Police say they've gotten very few, if any, other complaints about stolen political signs in town. If a homeowner did press charges, those could include criminal trespass or larceny because the signs are the homeowner’s property.

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