A large number of street signs in and around Hardin County are being vandalized and stolen in huge numbers as of late.
Hardin County Commissioners are scrambling to alleviate the problem that has grown in epidemic proportions.
Though the epidemic is hitting all four precincts in the county, there have been 31 signs alone in Pct. 2 missing since Sept. 14.
Pct. 2 Commissioner Chris Kirkendall is asking citizens and community members to help eradicate the problem.
“I’d like to see more community awareness,” said Kirkendall. “We need to educate our children that this is a crime.”
Though it is illegal to steal signs, Kirkendall is asking anyone that may have signs to please return them with no questions asked and there will be no prosecutions.
Kirkendall submitted a list to the Silsbee Bee of 31 signs taken in the last two weeks from north of Silsbee to Honey Island to Village Mills.
“We have replaced signs numerous times in one spot over a period of time,” said Kirkendall. “There has even been a situation where we replace one and three days later it is gone.”
Though some signs are stolen clean from the post, there are occassions that the post is damaged or even taken along with the street sign.
Kirkendall says that even when signs need to be replaced, so do some parts that were damaged, which costs money because most parts must be ordered in bulk.
Though most emergency entities utilize GPS, sometimes it isn’t always correct, and without signs, could pose a problem in the event of an emergency.
“We have a lot of elderly people that rely on these signs,” added Kirkendall. “We have Meals on Wheels, and Acadian services to pick up or drop off patients that may be getting dialysis or any other medical treatment.”
As of now, Kirkendall and commissioners can only hope that citizens be aware and to please contact local authorities of any suspicious activity.