UMass students arrested for alleged sign thefts in Amherst

  • Amherst Police Department GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, October 11, 2021

AMHERST — Three University of Massachusetts students were arrested late Monday night after they were found with numerous political campaign signs, apparently taken from Amherst lawns, along with three street signs.

According to dispatch logs supplied by the Police Department, a North Amherst resident called for assistance at 11:37 p.m. as three men were seen taking the Ball Lane street sign.

With a description of a pickup truck involved, police tracked the vehicle to a parking lot on the UMass campus, where Nicholas Jacob Cammarano, 19, of Northborough, DeWitt F. Purcell II, 20, of Georgetown, and Sean Matthew Weber, 18, of Mansfield, were all arrested on charges of larceny of property under $1,200. Cammarano also was charged with receiving stolen property under $1,200.

In addition to the campaign signs, both for candidates and the referendum on the Jones Library expansion project, the bed of the truck also had the Ball Lane, Hitchcock Road and Gaylord Street signs, a Daily Hampshire Gazette newspaper tube, and a license plate.

The arrests came about six hours after Monday’s Town Council meeting began with an appeal from Council President Lynn Griesemer for all residents to respect campaign signs placed in yards.

Griesemer’s request for political signs to be left alone followed a rash of thefts in recent days, some that were reported to police, including by a North Prospect Street resident Sunday morning.

In addition to the referendum on the Jones Library project, the town election features contests for seats on the Town Council and School Committee, as well as the Elector under the Oliver Smith Will position.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.