Marion County Sees Increase In Stolen Road Signs - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Marion County Sees Increase In Stolen Road Signs

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MARION COUNTY -

The Marion County 911 Center said it's a necessity that every street in the county has a street sign. It has worked on making that happen for several years.

"We went through and we put up probably around 17 or 18 hundred road signs throughout Marion County," said Chris McIntire, Marion County 911 Center Director. "We had 58 road signs stolen last year. So far this year we are at 28 and its only been two months."

The Marion County Sheriff's Department received an anonymous tip on Monday about several street signs lining the inside of a Bellview garage.

"We were able to obtain a search warrant based on that information and we did execute that search warrant on Monday evening and recovered I think about 12-15 signs from that garage," said Chief Deputy Ralph Wright, Marion County Sheriff's Department.

It doesn't matter how cool a stop sign may look in your bedroom, stealing it is against the law.

Law enforcement said stolen road signs isn't a new issue but the public needs to realize that it could cause some pretty serious safety concerns.

"The street signs are bad enough but you go taking stop signs where people from out of state or people that are not familiar with the area and they blow through that intersection, we could have some disastrous accidents," Chief Wright said.

The 911 Center said it even causes a delay in response time for first responders.

"They don't understand the consequences. It seems like a joke to them," McIntire said. "The first time that someone is having a medical emergency and somebody dies, they'll realize its not a joke."

McIntire said Marion County's delegates have presented a piece of legislation to the House making penalties stricter if you steal a road sign.

"Now they have introduced House Bill 4371. What it does is it makes it a felony for stealing road signs," said McIntire.

It costs about $150 to replace each street sign.

If you know of someone who may be guilty of stealing a sign, you are asked to contact the Marion County Sheriff's Department at 304-367-5300.