STUART, Fla. -- Is it a sign of the times?
While the Martin County Sheriff's Office arrested a man for allegedly stealing election signs this week, one Congressional candidate says he suspects the problem is bigger than just one man.
Signs are an important part of any political race, as is meeting with voters and making speeches. But dozens of signs have recently gone missing or been destroyed in Martin County.
Congressman Allen West, who is battling in the Congressional District 18 primary on Tuesday, has had signs vanish and says the crime needs to stop.
"In keeping with our true Democratic process, whoever's doing it, shame on them. That's all I can say," said West.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office arrested 23-year-old Nicholas Caputo in connection with the theft of 57 election signs belonging to at least 18 candidates. Deputies say Caputo told them he was quote, "cleaning up the neighborhood."
West's Republican rival, Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, thinks Caputo is not the only one stealing signs.
"The workers of one campaign possibly may become a little overzealous and think they're helping their candidate by taking the opposition's signs," said Crowder.
What is clear is that both Crowder and West want it to stop, as they have invested thousands of dollars in getting their message out to the public.