Hundreds of Obama signs, stickers, stolen or vandalized in East Texas

PALESTINE, TX (KTRE) - Obama campaign signs are being taken across East Texas.

In the past two weeks, hundreds of signs have been stolen in multiple counties.

This yard may not look like something's missing. That's because what was has already been replaced.

"They have been out about 2 weeks,"

Dawn put multiple Obama Signs in her yard, but last weekend during the night they disappeared.

"All the signs were taken out of my yard. Between me and my neighbor she had four signs in her yard. They're gone," said Dawn.

Dawn's mom lives a few blocks away, same story in her yard.

"She called me and said my sign had been stolen," said Paula McAughan. "It upset me."

It's not just them. Anderson County Democratic Chair Larry Davis says it's a pattern seen across East Texas.

"What are these people thinking? Signs don't vote. The people who put the signs in their yard vote," said Davis.

Smith estimates over a hundred signs in Anderson County were taken across Palestine and in rural areas. He also thinks their disappearance might be racially motivated.

"I think it's probably some individuals who may harbor racism in their hearts and can't stand the thought of an African-American being president," said Davis.

Although the signs themselves aren't worth much, it is a theft. But, it's the motivation behind the criminal actions that upsets everyone involved.

"We were very aggravated that freedom of speech is impeded on and you can't even at least put a political sign in your yard and have people respect that," said Dawn.

"We should respect each others views. I don't feel like someone should assault us or damage property because they don't have the same belief system that you do or political interest that you do. That is what makes our country great is our diversity," said Paula.

Both Dawn and Paula's signs have been replaced but with some extra security.

"Every night there is a routine - go get the Obama signs, put them out, bring them back out the next morning," said Dawn.

It's a very similar story in Smith County. They estimate over a hundred signs have been taken from  yards, as well as bumper stickers scraped off cars or covered up with anti-Obama stickers.