Candidate’s Election Signs Vandalized and Stolen

UPDATED: Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Arron Fredrickson contacted the Shelby County Herald on Tuesday, May 5 at 8:37 a.m. Fredrickson indicated that the official police report on the case referred to below cannot be released at this time due to the case’s on-going investigation.

By Marlana Smith

  Cole Hinshaw, a candidate running for Shelby County Sheriff, is looking for information on election signs that were vandalized and stolen. 

  Hinshaw first noticed one of his four-foot by eight-foot signs was vandalized on Saturday, April 19 when he discovered someone spray painted homosexual slang language on it. The sign was at the intersection of Route U and 15. He replaced the sign on April 22. Four days later it was stolen. 

  A sign was also knocked down in Clarence. 

  Hinshaw said a sign was also stolen southwest of Bethel. 

  Both of the stolen signs were found. One located in a creek, one at the intersection of Route E and 15 north of Bethel.

  Shelby County Prosecutor Jordan Force provided the following documents to the Shelby County Herald.

  According to Missouri Revisor of Statues: Class four election offenses. – The following offenses, and any others specifically so described by law, shall be class four election offenses and are deemed misdemeanors not connected with the exercise of the right of suffrage. Conviction for any of these offenses shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or by both such imprisonment and fine: 

  Stealing or willfully defacing, mutilating, or destroying any campaign yard sign on private property, except that this subdivision shall not be construed to interfere with the right of any private property owner to take any action with regard to campaign yard signs on the owner’s property and this subdivision shall not be construed to interfere with right of any candidate, or the candidate’s designee, to remove the candidate’s campaign yard sign from the owner’s private property after the election day.

  Multiple attempts were made by the Herald on Friday, May 1 to the Sheriff’s Department for a copy of the report filed. As of the newspaper’s Monday press time, the Herald had not received a copy of the report.

  Hinshaw is offering a $350 reward for the arrest of offenders or information leading to the arrest of the offenders.  

  If you have any information contact the Sheriff’s Office at (573) 633-2161.