WESTPORT – Police are investigating the theft of lawn signs in town.
Police said they have received a number of complaints from local nonprofits. The groups had placed signs on private property or the signs were authorized to be placed on public property.
Police said, “A group calling itself “The Committee” has written to at least one local nonprofit organization stating that if they fail to remove lawn signs, ‘The Committee’ will take down their signs ‘at first sight.’ The individual or individuals behind ‘The Committee’ have not identified themselves, however this incident has been officially been reported to police and is under investigation.”
Police reminded residents they should not take it upon themselves to remove signs that do not belong to them, from either public or private property. They said the enforcement of the town’s rules are the responsibility of the police, not private citizens. If signs are taken down by someone not authorized to do so by the town, or by the owner of the sign, may constitute theft. “Entering onto private property to remove signs may constitute trespassing. Both of these acts can result in arrest,” said police in an email.
Anyone with information about the recent rash of missing signs is asked to call the Westport Police Department at (203) 341-6000. Charities that have had signs removed from authorized public or private locations are also encouraged to file a formal police report.
Police said, ” Nonprofits are reminded that signs advertising charitable events must be reviewed and approved by the town before the signs can be placed on town property or in the town right-of-way. An electronic copy of the Temporary Sign Request form is available on the town’s website. Paper copies of this document can also be obtained in person from the First Selectman’s Office. A copy of this form has also been attached to this release. For each event, only a total of fifteen signs are allowed on town property and in the town right-of-way. These signs cannot be placed out more than two weeks before the event, and they must be removed within two days after the event in order to be in compliance with town regulations.”