Updated: September 28, 2020 10:18 PM
Created: September 28, 2020 09:25 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —With the presidential election right around the corner, it’s not uncommon to see political signs for both candidates. In Rio Rancho, however, some supporters said they’ve been having issues with their signs being vandalized or stolen from their front yard.
“We've seen a huge increase in vandalism and thefts for Trump signs specifically,” said Anissa Tinnin, executive director of the Republican Party of New Mexico.
The latest incident occurred near Idalia and Loma Colorado.
“My daughter pointed it out. I didn’t know what the back side meant,” said Paula Keintz, a Rio Rancho resident.
“Inappropriate stuff that was on it, that honestly shouldn't have been on it,” said Hannah Billingsley, another Rio Rancho resident.
Last week, Tinnin said someone vandalized a Trump sign at their location by marking over it with Biden’s name. According to a report, that caused $1,500 in damages.
“I just think people need to learn how to respect each other’s opinions and be a little more tolerant regardless of what side you’re on,” said resident Patricia Souchon.
“Obviously there’s a lot of tension going on between the different parties, which I understand. Everyone has their different opinions, but when it starts to get to the criminal activity, then that's not right,” Keintz added.
Tinnin said the stolen, vandalized signs won’t deter their campaign.
“Fine. If you don’t want to vote for President Trump—don’t vote for him. That’s what makes America, America,” she said. “That’s what makes this great is that we have the right to choose who we want to vote for and so it has become much more violent, it has become much more intimidating and threatening for people.”
Earlier this month, a video was circulating on social media that showed a man getting out of his car and destroying a Trump poster with a machete in northeast Albuquerque.
APD said if the damage to property is over $1,000, it’s considered a felony. In Rio Rancho, officials said people could face larceny or criminal damage offenses for damaging signs.
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