Stolen, Vandalized Road Signs Cost Tax Payers Thousands

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Lincoln, NE-- Road signs in Lancaster County are pretty popular amongst thieves these days, at least according to Lancaster County Engineer, Pam Dingman.

"We do use a lot of stop signs," said Dingman. "And of course those are the most dangerous for us to lose because if somebody doesn't yield at an intersection there could be an accident."

But it's more than stop signs that are needing replacement. On average, 260 road signs are either stolen or vandalized in Lancaster County each year, and at around $100 each, that costs tax payers $26,000.

"Somebody starts to steal a sign and it seems that we'll repeatedly lose that sign for a certain duration of time," said Dingman. "But it's really important to note that this is vandalism, this is threat, it does cost the tax payer a serious amount of money."

Road signs aren't the only thing costing the county time and money, Dingman says around $15,000 are lost in traffic light vandalism.

"The most popular traffic signal that we lose in Lancaster County for whatever reason is 14th and Agnew," said Dingman. "It's typically shot out multiple times a year ... for the last about 20 years and that's significant because if the signal has to be completely replaced it will cost around 4 thousand dollars."

Dingman says if you see anyone tampering with a road sign to call the Lancaster County Sheriff, the County Engineering Department, or 9-1-1.