Police probe after Donald Trump campaign signs stolen from Maryland front gardens
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US police are investigating after several campaign signs supporting Donald Trump’s bid to retain the White House were stolen from front gardens in Maryland.
Footage released by the Harford County Sheriff’s office shows a suspect crossing a lawn in the town of Bel Air on August 8 to remove a sign expressing support for the US president and running mate and current US vice president Mike Pence.
The suspect is seen making an offensive gesture to the camera at one point, and then appears to throw a sign stand behind him as he goes.
The footage was captured by an affected property owner, who was able to film the apparent act of vandalism via a camera attached to his doorbell.
“We all have differences of opinion. Let’s respect those opinions and not step into somebody else’s yard to commit a crime by stealing a campaign sign. It’s a violation of free speech and downright disrespectful of your neighbours,” the sheriff’s office said.
The incident marked one of a spate of thefts of political signs from front gardens in Bel Air on August 8, according to police, and came as the US edges closer to its November 3 presidential election.
Mr Trump, the 74-year-old incumbent, is standing again as the Republican candidate and hopes to serve a second term as the 45th president in the White House.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Mr Biden has named California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, making history by selecting the first black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate
The 55-year-old first-term senator is one of the Democratic party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the number two spot after her own White House campaign ended in December last year.
Ms Harris joins Mr Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people in the US, marking the world’s single worst outbreak.
Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused an economic collapse. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality.
Mr Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Mr Biden an opening, and he enters the autumn campaign in a strong position against the president.