Willie Nelson and Horne Hill Road signs disappearing in Tx


by Regina Dennis 

Street signs bearing eye-catching names are often stolen or vandalized by pranksters throughout rural county areas. Officials say the increasing thefts endanger public safety and cost the county extra time and money to replace.

“I have one guy that that’s all he does is replace signs all day,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Snell.

Snell said labor, fuel and sign replacement costs for Precinct 1 total $4,800 each month. Labor and sign materials costs have totaled $24,671 for Precinct 2 since October, Commissioner Lester Gibson said.

Snell plans to install surveillance cameras near certain “hot” street signs to catch sign snatchers in the act. Snell said he hopes to purchase one or two surveillance cameras to float around different hot spots throughout the county.

Commissioner Joe Mashek said his road and bridge crew replaces nearly 25 signs each week, usually after weekend revelry by area teens.  Willie Nelson Road in West has been one of the most sought after signs in his precinct.

“We’ve caught a couple of kids in the past stealing the signs and had their parents notified, because most of the time they’re just playing around and they don’t realize how serious this is,” Mashek said.

Liquor names make prime sign targets, such as Whiskey Hill Road in Axtell and Whiskey Hollow Road in West. Quirky street names like Dragon Lane in Lorena, Solitude Lane in West and Coyote Run near Hallsburg have also been vulnerable to theft.

K.D. Davis, who replaces signs in Precinct 1, knows certain signs will be missing at least once a week, such as the stop sign at the intersection of Box Shadow Lane and Old Bethany Road in Moody. The street sign for Horne Hill Road in Moody barely lasts a weekend before it disappears.

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