Despite not-so-nice finger gestures from some fellow motorists who noticed the campaign stickers on his car, retired U.S. Secret Service agent Joseph LaSorsa won’t let anyone make him feel less than proud of being a McCain-Palin supporter.
So, when someone stole a pair of campaign signs displayed on his front lawn in Lighthouse Point, he went after them.
“I wasn’t going to let them get away with it,” he said.
LaSorsa, 54, ran out of his house and jumped into his car, following a pickup truck down his street just after 1 a.m. on Oct. 25 and then blocking it at an intersection. He borrowed a cell phone and called 911.
Police showed up minutes later, charged five teenagers that were in the truck with theft and recovered a pile of loot from inside the vehicle: more than 100 other McCain-Palin signs allegedly snatched off front lawns.
That’s just some of the shenanigans tied to this fierce election season.
Across Broward County, authorities say they have received countless reports of campaign sign thefts, sign uprootings and sign vandalism. Republicans and Democrats have been targeted.
“It’s sort of an election-season tradition,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jim Leljedal, though he added that things have been mostly quiet. Elsewhere, police and residents share stories of how chats among friends have boiled over into shoving matches. Glances exchanged between drivers with opposing political stickers have sparked road rage.
Some local political figures think the animosity is rooted in the intense passion surrounding the presidential campaign.
“It’s getting out of hand,” said Broward Republican Party Chairman Chip LaMarca, who earlier this month reported to police that someone had broken a window on his Lighthouse Point home.
Police officials, though, say the incidents and sign thefts aren’t all that unusual.
Said Lighthouse Point police Cmdr. Michael Oh: “Every election, we have the same problem.”
Staff Writer Anthony Man contributed to this report.