Tangipahoa Parish officials have launched a crackdown on traffic sign thieves.
Parish President Gordon Burgess told The Daily Star Tangipahoa is stepping up investigation of the theft of stop signs and other signs and will pursue charges against individuals found in possession of stolen signs.
“What is typically described as a prank is a criminal act that can lead to injury or even death on our roadways,” Burgess said.
Burgess said sign thefts typically spike at the end of the summer season.
“This year we are going to actively investigate and prosecute these cases,” he said. Charges could include vandalism, criminal mischief and theft. A charge of reckless endangerment could be brought in cases in which the lack of signs results in an accident with injury or death.
Burgess said people found in possession of stolen signs will be prosecuted as well, even if they did not steal the sign themselves.
“These signs are not free,” he said. “They are produced, acquired and installed at taxpayer expense. We have an obligation in parish government to protect public property, and we will take action against those who destroy taxpayer property.”
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