- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

A Washington man fed up with people stealing his Donald Trump yard signs says the signs are now rigged to deliver an electric shock.

Ardent Trump supporter Ray Gilbride, of Bellingham, said the signs were routinely getting stolen from his front yard. In four months, he said he’s lost seven signs to anti-Trump pranksters. His surveillance cameras even captured one of them putting a Bernie Sanders sign in his yard, a local NBC News affiliate reported.

Mr. Gilbride’s response was to hook up a 1.5-joule electric fence to the signs using copper wiring.

“It’ll light you up a little bit,” he told KIRO Radio, a CBS News affiliate. “Especially if you’re standing in wet grass.”

“This young lady came running through and she grabs the signs, pulls them out and that’s where you can see plain as day, the jolt hit her a little bit,” he said, referring to footage caught by his security camera. “She just stopped, just a dead stop, and soon as the pulsing was done, she kinda got her senses and ripped them out and took off running down the street. But it was a pretty funny video.”

Mr. Gilbride said he consulted with local police about the tactic and was told a non-lethal electric fence that was made to deliver a pulsating charge was acceptable, as long as no one gets injured.

“It would have been different if somebody hooked it to a 110 [volt] outlet and watched somebody get hurt,” he told KIRO.

“We live in a society that’s gone so backwards,” he said. “First of all, if people stopped being friends with their kids and started being parents, maybe some of it wouldn’t happen. The fact is, stealing is stealing. I’m getting a lot of that criticism, too, people saying it’s just a sign. Why do we prosecute kids for stealing just a candy bar? Situational ethics is wrong. Stealing is stealing. You’ve got to go back to the basics. If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”

Booby trapping political yard signs is apparently not that uncommon. A Trump supporter in Indianapolis recently rigged his signs by attaching them to a long camouflaged wire, so that it trips up the thieves when they take off running with the sign.

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