Irv Beaver, 73, of Waterview Way, Belford, a long time Middletown Democrat volunteer, activist and County Committeeman, was arrested on Sunday afternoon for stealing and vandalizing campaign signs supporting Republican candidates for local, county and congressional offices, as well as Middetown Board of Education candidates who the Middletown Democrat organization opposes.
Middletown Republicans have long suspected Beaver of stealing and vandalizing their signs.
Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, a former mayor of Middletown, said,”These underhanded thefts have been happening for years in Middletown. This is nothing new. I’m pleased that the Middletown Police Department caught Beaver and I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Dave Merces, a Board of Education candidate running against the slate the Middletown Democrats are supporting, told MMM that between 30-40 of his campaign signs throughout the Township are missing, “I’ve been told that at least one of my signs was found in Mr. Beaver’s possession when he was arrested,” Merces said.
Sean Byrnes, a Democrat candidate for Township Committee, former Committee member and attorney, has not responded to requests for comment about Beaver’s arrest.
Middletown Democrat Chairman Michael DiCiccio said that he does not condone the stealing and vandalism of campaign signs. “I actually like seeing signs from both sides out this time of year,” DiCiccio said in a phone interview. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Beaver did that.”
Beaver was arrested on Cherry Tree Farm Road at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. As of 5:30 pm Sunday he was still in custody, being processed and charges being investigated.
The Middletown PD issued the following statement at 11:17 am on October 15, shortly after this story was first posted:
Middletown – On Sunday, October 14, 2018, Middletown Police arrested Irvin Beaver, 73, of Middletown, for the theft of political signs. Police have been investigating the theft of signs belonging to candidates who are running for election to the Township Committee, the Middletown Board of Education, and other political offices. The thefts have resulted in the loss of hundreds of signs, which is a significant increase over what has been seen in years past.
As a result of the increase, Middletown Police increased their patrols in areas where the thefts were occurring. While engaged in the proactive patrol, police observed Beaver in the act of the stealing the signs. Beaver was observed taking the signs, placing them in his vehicle, and leaving the scene. Beaver was subsequently stopped by police on Cherry Tree Farm Road near the intersection with Chanowich Court and placed under arrest.
Beaver was charged with two counts of theft and released on a summons complaint pending an appearance in municipal court.
Any persons arrested or charged with offenses are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Additionally, except in specific circumstances, arrest and complaint information and names of those charged may be released.