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Door County authorities see an increase in stolen street signs

Door County authorities see an increase in stolen street signs
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 00:10:47-04

STURGEON BAY (NBC 26) — Over the last few weeks, authorities have reported an alarming number of street signs being removed or stolen.

“Stop signs, stop ahead signs, maybe dead end signs. North central part of the county are road name signs,” said Thad Ash, Door County Highway Commissioner.

Door County authorities see an increase in stolen street signs

This certainly a safety concern because when a sign is not where it should be, it could be a matter of life or death.

“You can cause a serious crash and potentially kill somebody,” said Captain Carl Waterstreet with the Door County Sheriff’s Department.

Door County authorities see an increase in stolen street signs

“It’s all about traffic control and if you’re coming to an intersection. Maybe a blind intersection, the sign is there to control your behavior as a driver.”

In some cases, the highway department said thieves have gone as far as not only removing the actual sign itself, but removing the whole post.

Door County authorities see an increase in stolen street signs

“The post they’re attached to just removing it from the ground,” Ash said.

Authorities emphasize this is no laughing matter as it is not only costs hundreds of dollars to replace each sign, but there are dire consequences if you get caught.

“If you’re in high school going to college and this is a prank and you end up causing someone to die, there goes college, there goes your life, there’s life in prison, there’s 30 years in prison. There is half of your life gone because you decided to take a stop sign down,” Waterstreet said.

Fortunately, Captain Waterstreet said there haven’t been any serious accidents, but things can change.

“It doesn’t mean it won’t happen five minutes from now. We’ve been very fortunate so far. Community members have been able to call and we get it replaced. But time is coming, we are living on borrowed time,” Waterstreet said.

And as the summer tourist season is just kicking off authorities said these missing signs add to an extra layer of concern.