Opponents of Dorchester District 2’s $179.9 million school improvement referendum are playing dirty, campaign chairman Brian Moniz said Monday.

Over the weekend, about 20 4-foot-by-4-foot “Yes 4 Schools” signs and 200 yard signs were stolen, prompting him to file a report with the Summerville Police Department, he said.

“Somebody is out to get us,” he said. “It would be one thing if the Department of Transportation came out and removed all of the signs, but only ours were gone.”

The signs were taken from public rights of way and private property, he said. In many cases, wooden posts were left behind.

A mother and teenage son were seen removing one sign, and two “older gentlemen” were spotted at another site, he said. He said he will press charges against anyone who is caught.

School and campaign officials said the rumor is that career school students are involved.

Superintendent Joe Pye said the district’s lawyer will write a letter to the school’s board chairman “alerting them that this is what we understand is happening and it will not be tolerated.” Students bused from the district’s three high schools to the career school will be informed that removing the signs is a crime, he said.

“I hope that if we do catch them, we will not let them off the hook. It is unethical and totally uncalled for. It’s stealing property that is not theirs.”

Four school board candidates at the meeting said they have also had signs stolen.

Moniz said anyone witnessing the removal of signs is asked to get the vehicle’s license plate number and call Summerville police at 871-2463.

In other business, the board recognized outgoing member Bo Blanton, who served 16 years, nine as chairman, and is not seeking re-election.

“Two words that describe him are integrity and fairness,” said Chairman Fran Townsend. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”