Campaign season is here, and that means the sign thieves are out.
Early voting for the May 6 county primary elections begins Wednesday.
Two-term judge Carol Soloman said entire streets used to be lined with her campaign signs are now bare.
It's become so widespread that the police are now involved.
Solomon supporter Madelyn Erwin said it's hard to imagine someone loading up a big campaign sign and hauling it away, but that's what happened.
"It's up there for good, and if somebody wants to take it down, they're going to have to work hard to get it," said Erwin.
The gigantic sign, complete with heavy bolts, went up a week ago after two smaller signs in Erwin's yard disappeared.
Though she didn't see who did it, she said she had gotten phone calls from two different people who did.
"He described him to me, working guy, white button-down collar, nice clean vehicle," said Erwin. "He went and got the sign, put it in the back and took off."
What happened in Erwin's Old Hickory yard is not an isolated incident.
Solomon said she's been getting calls for a week from people saying the same thing.
"Whole streets at a time are being wiped clean," said Solomon, who is running for reelection. "Lebanon Road, we had 15 signs. There's one left."
Solomon estimates that as many as 50 to 60 signs have been stolen, costing her campaign thousands of dollars. She said the worst part is wondering who might do such a thing.
"The last think you'd want to think is that someone running for judge would steal, or would affirm stealing," said Solomon.
Police are investigating the theft from Erwin's yard, along with several others.
"If you can't express your own opinion in your own yard, and somebody comes by and takes it, they're violating your free speech," said Erwin.
Metro Police said they are treating this like they would any other theft case. The seriousness of the charges will depend on the cost of the signs that were stolen and how many were taken.
Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive