CHATHAM, NJ - Add the theft of political signs to the list of vehicles and property stolen from Chatham residents this summer.
Chatham Borough homeowners Dan and Libby Hilsenrath of 37 Weston Ave. reported to the police on Sunday that their "Trump" for president sign had been stolen from their front yard. It was the fourth time a Trump sign had been taken from their yard over a three-month span.
According to the Hilsenraths, the sign was taken between 10 and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night.
"I get more determined to put it back up every time someone takes it," Dan Hilsenrath said. "This is the intolerance of progressivism. There was a Bernie sign on Van Doren Avenue and no one touched that."
The Hilsenraths put out a fifth Trump sign on Sunday to replace the stolen one, securing it to a tree with a bicycle lock. They've also spent $200 on a surveillance camera so they can catch the next person who tries to take the sign in the act.
A week ago, the sign was taken in broad daylight between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. It is estimated that the longest that one of the signs has stayed on the lawn before being stolen is about a week.
One time, Libby Hilsenrath covered the sign in oil to make it sticky, but that didn't prevent anyone from taking it.
"One day I put the garbage out on a Sunday and I heard some noise, came down and the sign was gone and my garbage was all over the street," Dan Hilsenrath said.
In another instance, Libby Hilsenrath caught some teenagers in the act of taking the sign off her lawn and yelled at them to stop.
"It's my first amendment free speech right to put a sign on my lawn and it's about property rights," Libby Hilsenrath said. "It's trespassing and vandalism, that's why I keep reporting it."