Everyone needs a hobby, and for Princeton University professor John Mulvey, it's liberating ugly signage from its grassy suburban prison. If you haven't been out to the provinces for a while, you probably have no idea what a foul scourge these advertising eyesores can be. But Professor Mulvey knows, and instead of just muttering about it with his bridge partner at the faculty club like everyone else, he allegedly took it upon himself to rid the neighborhood of the abominations. Hero? Maybe. But local police say he's really just a criminal.
Ted Horodynsky, who owns Princeton Computer Repairs, Tutoring and Digital Services, tells NJ.com that he went to police last month when he noticed his 2-by-2-foot signs disappearing from front yards—where he had permission from customers to install them. The signs are worth over $20 a pop, but it seems the local constabulary didn't think the case was much of a priority—until Horodynsky came back to them with surveillance camera footage that appears to show Professor Mulvey stealing signs. Again and again like it was his fucking job.
In one of the sign-stealing incidents caught on camera, the professor appears to be wearing a neck brace.
The video allegedly shows Professor Mulvey stealing the signs on five separate occasions. It also caught his vehicle's license plate, which police used to track down the suspected sign stealer. Soon after arriving at Professor Mulvey's residence, cops say they found 21 of the purloined signs in his garage.
Each sign is worth more than $20 a piece, and NJ.com reports that their total value is $471. Horodynsky's Plotwatcher Pro camera paid for itself! "I’m relieved that after a year of being plagued by this that it’s finally over," he tells NJ.com.
But Professor Mulvey, who resides, fittingly, on Puritan Court, insists it's all just a big misunderstanding. "I think there was a mistake in the charges," Mulvey tells NJ.com “I drive back and forth in that area and frequently stop to pick up debris in the roadway. Some people don’t like the signs and they throw them in the woods. I make it my job to pick them up and keep them, so that’s what happened."
Mulvey says he has no reason to steal or "borrow" the signs, adding, "I have nothing against signs or capitalism." Well, now we don't know WHO to believe. Or is it WHOM, professor?
Stay tuned for updates on Professor Mulvey's case as it winds its way through the New Jersey legal system. In other local July news, is this a dick?