Thursday, May 17, 2012
Barton County is having a problem with vandals breaking or even stealing traffic signs. The problem isn't new, but in the past few weeks, law enforcement says it has gotten out of control.
The signs that line the roads in great bend are meant to keep drivers safe; but in the last two weeks, 18 signs, 12 of them stop signs, have been stolen or destroyed.
“In some cases they'll pull them out of the ground. In some cases they might take a vehicle and push up against them and break them off and in other cases they might just take them off,” Sheriff Greg Armstrong said.
Sheriff Armstrong says vandals have hit signs all over the county. We spoke to one woman who lives just down the street from one of the stop signs hit by vandals.
“The stops signs are there for a reason and that reason is there's an intersection that could be possibly dangerous,” Robin Niederee said.
The sad thing is too it's very expensive for the taxpayers, because once the road department is notified that a sign is down they have 24 hours to put that back up. So they're paying over time plus the costs of the signs, the posts and everything to put them back up,” Sheriff Armstrong said.
Sheriff Armstrong tells us they've been dealing with this problem for years, but the recent surge in crime has them worried. He's asking everyone one in the community to keep their eyes open and call 911 if they see a vandal in action.
Robin Neideree tells us she wishes the sign thieves would take time to stop and think before they act.
“Those stop signs look cool maybe in your bedroom or your basement but you need to look at that stop sign and realize you're putting a life in danger,” Neideree said.