A Down East town says 30 traffic signs were ripped from its roads in two days last month and town officials want to find out who is responsible.
At their March 30 meeting, Lubec’s elected officials approved the creation of a $500 reward for any information that may contribute to the arrest of anyone who got away with the signs, a few poles and all.
“Someone must have seen something,” said Renee Gray, the city administrator of Lubec.
While it’s not unusual for street signs to go missing from time to time, the sheer number of city officials are scrambling — and worried about the impact on emergency services, which rely on the signs.
Between March 22 and 23, the town saw the 30 street signs disappear. Most were rectangular street name signs, but there were also a few stop signs.
“It’s going to take about a month to replace them all,” Gray said.
The majority of the missing signs were taken from roads along the way to West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and off North Lubec Road, she said.
As the Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigates the missing signs, the city is preparing to replace them. Lubec ordered $2,000 worth of new signs last week.
Gray could not say if there was a motive behind the alleged thefts, although people have speculated prying children or aluminum thieves.
While some may shrug their shoulders and say it’s no big deal, Gray and selectors said not having the panels can waste precious seconds for first responders.
“911 depends on these signs,” she said. “It’s really serious.”
This is far from the first time the city has lost signs. In August, six panels disappeared. Gray said she understands that if one or two are missing, that’s normal for cities.
“But it was 30,” she said. “That’s not nice.”