WORTHINGTON ― As Election Day nears, some individuals have been stealing candidate signs from the yards or other personal property of their political opponents, the Worthington Police Department reports.

This is a crime.

If caught stealing political signs, a person could be charged with theft, receiving stolen property and/or trespassing, Capt. Nate Grimmius explained.

So far, WPD has apprehended at least one individual accused of political signage theft, he said, with other complaints still being investigated.

If someone's sign is stolen, they should report it to law enforcement right away, Grimmius added.

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"The longer you wait, the harder it is for us to investigate," he said.

These thefts mostly happen at night, so it may be difficult to catch the thief in action, but the sooner you notice the sign is missing, the better.

Another issue the public needs to be aware of is where they are allowed and prohibited from placing political signs. As long as it's the person's own property, displaying a political sign is fine. However, no one may place political signage on public right-of-ways. If the private property belongs to someone else, the person needs to get permission from the property owner before putting up a political sign.