Texas County road signs found last week in a brush pile near Hartshorn form a pile of their own in the back of a county employee's truck.

Early last week, two women from the Harthshorn area brought to the Texas County Sheriff’s Department office numerous Texas County road signs and other hardware they found in a brush pile while hunting in Shannon County.

The find represents several hundred dollars in damage, including the signs, poles and sign mounting hardware. The roads the equipment was stolen from were all in the Clear Springs area of southeast part of the county.

Presiding Commissioner Don Shelhammer said Texas County spends more than $15,000 per year to repair and replace signs and hardware stolen or damaged due to vandalism. Road sign maintenance employee Leon Haney spends some 20 hours per week reinstalling hardware, poles and replacing signs. Haney said it is not unusual to have to order four to five replacement signs per week because of theft or vandalism.

Monetary loss is only one of the problems with missing road signs. The more serious aspect is emergency personnel not being able to find the location of a person in trouble. Shelhammer said emergency personnel have reported cases in which a person actually died before an ambulance arrived because a road could not be found.

Residents knowing of destroyed or missing road signs are encouraged to alert the Texas County Sheriff’s Department, county commission or township officials. The county commission has asked the prosecuting attorney to prosecute perpetrators of road sign vandalism to the fullest extent of the law.


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