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Date: Fri 07-Aug-1998



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Date: Fri 07-Aug-1998

Publication: Bee

Author: ANDYG

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Signs Of Summer: Street Sign Thefts


The town again is in the midst of its street name sign theft season.

Each summer and early fall, youths who have some time on their hands, spot

street name signs that they would like to own and by hook or by crook they

steal the signs which bear names that are appealing to them, explained Fred

Hurley, director of public works.

These signs often bear "cute" names or the names of girls, among others, Mr

Hurley said.

"It is serious. It's a real problem," Mr Hurley said, explaining that the

absence of street signs can prevent police fire, ambulance and paramedic

staffers from arriving at the scene of an emergency promptly.

Also, the absence of street signs can be very confusing to people from out of

the area who are trying to locate an address here, he said.

Police Lieutenant David Lydem said the absence of street signs makes the

police's work more complicated, possibly delaying their response to


Some streets have signs which have been placed on very tall signposts to deter

signs thefts, he said.

Recently, there was a rash of street sign thefts in the Brushy Hill Road area,

including Pebble Road, Old Gate Lane and Cedar Hill Road, he said.

When police learn that street-name signs are missing either through their

patrol work or from reports by residents, they notify the Public Works

Department to create new signs to replace the missing ones.

Of the approximately 1,500 street-name signs posted locally, an estimated 100

to 150 may be missing at any one time due to thefts, Mr Hurley said.

The volume of missing signs keeps department staffers busy making new signs

and installing them, he said.

Depending upon the complexity of the sign and signpost set-up it can cost

between $25 and $100 to replace a sign, Mr Hurley said.

Often, parents will drive to the town garage on Turkey Hill Road and open a

car trunk to reveal a pile of stolen street signs which they want to return to

the town after junior had amassed them in his bedroom, Mr Hurley said.

The embarrassed parents always explain that the signs were stolen by junior's

friends, not junior, he said.

The town maintains a policy of street sign amnesty, Mr Hurley said. Those

returning stolen street signs will not be asked where they got them, he said.

Comments are open. Be civil.

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