By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – “It’s theft plain and simple,” Precinct One Constable Morris Luker said about the theft of political signs.

“We’ve been getting complaints from the south end of the county about people stealing candidate’s campaign signs,” the constable indicated.

The signs he referenced are in the race for the County Commissioner Precinct Three position on the November ballot. The candidates for the position are Reggie Berry (D) and incumbent Pat Perry (R).

“I do not believe it is the opponent who is doing this. I believe it is people who feel they are doing a good deed or something for the incumbent candidate. Someone is stealing these signs and it is theft – plain out and simple – because these signs belong to the candidate. I think the yard signs average about $5 and the bigger signs are about $25 to $30. If they (the person or persons responsible for the theft) are caught, it is an aggregate amount of how many signs you are caught with in your possession,” Luker said.

“They can bring the signs to me and I will take them back to the candidates,” Luker said. “I will leave them on the (candidate’s) doorstep. No questions asked. It was Reggie Berry’s wife who called me. This is getting to be an epidemic in this county. There were signs that came up missing during the race in the sheriff’s primary race this year. This is nothing but plain, out and out, simple theft and it has to come to a halt.”

The constable, who also holds an elected position, explained another facet about campaign signage. “We always, especially on a highway right-of-way, have to put the signs inside of a fence. That way, it is far enough off the state right-of-way. If not, they (state officials) may come by and pick them up,” he said.

“These signs belong to the candidates. It is not a lark. It is not a lark to go and use these signs for target shooting or to start fires with or to just pick up to collect. This is honest to God theft. I will file (charges) on them and see that they are prosecuted. This needs to stop. I do not believe the opponents know or have anything to do with this,” he reaffirmed.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.