Just days after signs opposing Concord schools' referendum went up, somebody started taking them down.
About 100 "vote no" yard signs distributed by the Vote No in Concord group have disappeared from various locations in Elkhart County since Sunday, April 6, according to the group's leader, K.C. Clements.
The green and white signs encourage residents to vote against a referendum that would give Concord schools more funding through a property tax hike.
Clements filed a report about the missing signs with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department on Monday, though at that time he reported between 20 and 30 signs missing, according to Undersheriff Sean Holmes.
Holmes said that whoever took the signs could be charged with theft, which is a felony.
"At this point we don’t have any suspects or leads," he said, adding, "It’s one of those things that, unless we have someone that does know something about this, it’s hard to follow up on."
A county zoning ordinance prohibits signs from being posted in public right-of-way areas, according to Tom Byers, county administrator.
Byers said that if signs are placed at intersections of county roads, for example, "if those are in the right-of-way, the highway department will take them down."
Clements said he contacted the highway department about the missing signs, but they had not removed any of the "vote no" signs.
The group has asked permission to put signs in residents' yards, and they've also placed signs near underpasses, railroad tracks and along roads.
Clements wasn't aware of the zoning ordinance but will follow it from now on, he said.
"We are going to absolutely follow the law — we are not trying to be lawbreakers," he said.
Holmes said that anyone with information about who took the signs can call the sheriff's department at 891-2300 or submit a tip at www.elkhartcountysheriff.com.