Vero Beach Council Campaign sign caper stumps police

VERO BEACH — Vero Beach politics occasionally gets dirty and campaign signs turn up missing – disappearing even in broad daylight.

According to Councilwoman Tracy Carroll, someone has been stealing her campaign signs from the Central Beach area.

“I’m missing at least five signs from along A-1-A,” Carroll said.

One of the homeowners whose sign went missing took it very seriously.

Indian River County Clerk of the Circuit Court Jeffrey Barton and his wife, Kathryn, posted a sign on their property on the corner of Highway A-1-A and Date Palm Road as they’re solid supporters of Carroll and Kathryn Barton serves as Carroll’s campaign treasurer.

“We have a very strategic corner, people love to put their signs on our property,” Kathryn Barton said.

The sign was there Friday morning when Kathryn Barton left for her Cardinal Drive accounting office, but not Friday afternoon when she returned home. The lawn had just been mowed on Thursday, so no possibility of a landscape crew moving the sign.

On Saturday morning, Kathryn Barton called the Vero Beach Police Department to report the theft. When given the option of just having a notation made and getting a case number assigned, or filing a formal report, she insisted on a report.

“This is really not only about coming on my property to take something, but it’s my right of free speech, it’s my opinion that I should be able to express,” she said.

“I did want to make it very formal. During my husband’s last election in 2008, we had a lot of signs stolen and it’s annoying,” she said. “Enough’s enough. I didn’t want them to spend a whole lot of police resources on this, but I wanted a record of it. It’s childish, but it’s still stealing.”

The Barton’s have yet to get word that the sign lifter had been caught.

“The young policeman said he would also keep an eye out,” Kathryn Barton said. “Saturday I did put the sign out about vote “yes” (on the referendum) and as far as I know, that’s still there.”

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