Nicholas Joseph Caputo, Stuart man, arrested after removing 57 campaign signs, deputies say

Caputo was trying to 'clean up the neighborhood'

STUART, Fla. -- A Stuart man was arrested this morning, charged with the theft of 57 campaign signs in Martin County.

Deputies say Nicholas Joseph Caputo, 23, removed signs from three locations and put them in the back of his truck in an attempt to "clean up the neighborhood."

A Martin County sheriff's deputy stopped Caputo after observing his vehicle parked on the side of Federal Highway in Stuart.

After the deputy noticed the campaign signs, Caputo said he didn't think it was right for the signs to be out because he considered it littering, according to an arrest affidavit.

Caputo told the deputy he had no political agenda, and didn't collect any particular sign over the other. The signs are from 18 different candidates, the incident report stated.

Caputo was charged with 57 counts of theft and is currently in the Martin County Jail. 

According to deputies, the small signs are valued at about $10, while the larger signs are worth about $20.

Caputo's bond has been set at $14,250. 

Candidates have been notified that signs are available for pick-up at the sheriff's office, according to deputies.

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