The Number of Stolen Street Signs Piles Up - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

The Number of Stolen Street Signs Piles Up

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Nearly 30 street signs in Bismarck have been stolen in the last five months.

The majority are residential signs--but what may seem like an innocent prank--is a crime that can have serious consequences.

It's a crime that you probably have not noticed while driving around.

It's hard to notice if a sign has been stolen unless a citizen reports it, but, since October nearly 30 street signs in Bismarck have gone missing.

"In addition to being arrested for theft and possession of stolen property you're looking at cost to taxpayers to replace the signs and material, looking at the inconvenience to neighbors living in the area who may not be familiar with the neighborhood." says Sgt. Mark Buschena/Bismarck Police Dept.

In many cases the stolen signs have already been replaced, but at what cost to drivers and residents.

"When you start taking traffic control signs down like bumps, dip signs, now you have potential for drivers not familiar with the area, it could do some damage or somebody could get hurt." says Sgt. Buschena.

The total cost reported to replace the 26 stolen signs is more than $1,139 dollars.

Not to mention how it might impact drivers who don't know the neighborhood.

"In some cases emergency responders, seconds could be lost rather quickly to find the address." says Buschena.

If you steal a street sign you can be charged with theft or possession of stolen property.

Public Works street superintendents say they usually replace signs within 24 hours of them being reported missing.

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