A New York professor has been arrested after she was caught on camera removing pro-Republican signs from the front lawn of a property that did not belong to her.
Laura Ebert, a 54-year-old economics lecturer at State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, allegedly stole signs supporting John Faso and Marc Molinaro, two Republicans running for office in the recent midterm election.
The theft took place at a residential property in Rosendale, which is about 8 miles away from the college where she works.
Police have charged Ebert with misdemeanor larceny for allegedly swiping the signs, according to the Daily Mail.
— Darren (@altritedarren) November 8, 2018
Video of the Oct. 30 theft shows a woman driving up to the home of Patrick and Lisa McGovern and rolling slightly onto their front lawn in her a pick-up truck with the trunk open.
The determined-looking woman, believed to be Ebert, struts towards the two signs, yanks them off their posts, and throws them into the back of the truck.
When Patrick McGovern noticed the signs were missing from his lawn, he reviewed security camera footage.
“It’s crazy in our area lately. It’s never been like this,” Lisa McGovern told Fox News. “People are getting over-emotional.”
She said she found the theft “frightening” and called the police.
McGovern added that when she discovered it was a local professor, she found it somewhat amusing.
“I kind of thought it was funny in a way, because of the times, you hear about stories of the professors being very liberal and not allowing people with conservative or Republican views to speak…almost like trying to shut down my voice, which seems antithetical to what a professor should be doing because we should all have a voice,” McGovern said, according to Fox News.
McGovern shared the video on Nov. 1 on Twitter: “My signs for #NY19 @JohnFasoNY and @MarcMolinaro were just stolen from my front lawn.”
— 🇺🇸 Lisa McMerica🍀🇺🇸 (@LisaMcGov) November 1, 2018
Ebert later told Campus Reform that she let her emotions get the better of her and that she meant no harm.
“I have family I love that support Trump, so I was after the sign, not the person,” Ebert said. “I have apologized and feel bad, but clearly the GOP is putting a big deal [of] spin on this. Many signs have been taken and disfigured, which, while no excuse for my bad behavior, doesn’t warrant the death threats I have received…Nor the smear campaign after me.”
McGovern said she did not want to vilify the professor, but added that it seemed to be a sign of the times.
“I’m sure she’s not a bad person but she just acted irrationally,” McGovern told Fox News. “I think it’s actually kind of a representation of what’s happening in our country right now, that people on both sides are dug in on their side and doing things without thinking.”
Ebert is due to make a court appearance on Nov. 13, according to the Daily Mail, citing a Rosendale Town Police Department report.