ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Thirty-eight signs in a month.
That's how many have gone missing that the county road department has had to replace, according to foreman Paul Brown.
At $15 a pop to replace, not counting the man power used to actually go out and do it, that's nearly $600 worth of damage and a very serious offense.
"We take it serious, and hopefully this information, getting it out to the public, people see something like this and report it to us," said Chief Deputy Sheriff Joe Cline.
Cline said those responsible could face theft by unlawful taking charges, even wanton endangerment charges if the signs absence causes more harm.
"We don't, maybe get the notification early enough, you got an emergency and you're responding to that area," said Cline. "When you're responding and looking for a road sign and there's not one there, it's a delay in the response of helping somebody."
Not only is this nuisance costly to the county, using tax payer dollars to replace the stolen signs, but it also puts people living down the roads or approaching the intersections in danger.
"If the signs not there you wouldn't find me," said concerned resident Tanya Brown.
Brown said she thinks it's probably taken so much for the novelty.
"We've had this sign here on this road taken several, several times along with the others throughout the county," Brown said.
But her concern echoes that of the sheriff's office, concern for her neighbors.
"We do have some elderly people who live up the hill down Pleasure Lane. If they were to do a 911 call, then the sign would not be visible for our EMS."