MARSHALL (KMHL) – Political sign theft and vandalism is nothing new to election season, but local political leaders gathered with law enforcement Monday to discuss the issue and ask supporters on both sides to help curb the problem.

Leaders of the local DFL and Republican parties in Minnesota got together yesterday to urge their supporters to quit stealing and vandalizing political signs.

Lyon County Sheriff Eric Wallen said often this type of crime goes unreported, so he couldn’t say if there was more of it this year as opposed to other years, but given the political climate both parties acknowledged it could become an issue as the election draws nearer.

Lyon County DFL Vice-Chairman Dana Moore says division over politics is nothing new, but he wants people to exercise civic responsibility.

“If you have people that you know that might say well I’m so passionate about the election and I see that sign and I want to do something to it, to say [to them] no, don’t do that, leave people’s stuff alone and let them express their views in a positive way,” said Moore.

The message was a similar one from Lyon County Republican Party co-chair Debbie Clark.

“Follow the law and be respectful,” said Clark. “Be thankful we live in a country where we can express our differences of opinions legally and peacefully.”

Wallen offered a few tips for property owners who don’t want their signs to be stolen. He said property owners could bring the signs in at night, or even move them closer to the home where a thief or vandal would have to walk further from their car or bike to get to the sign.

“If you do have some type of security system to place them in a position where they would be captured on that security system if someone does mess with your sign or any type of yard property for that matter,” said Wallen.

Wallen says if people do have a sign vandalized or stolen should contact authorities so they can investigate it.