KYTC looking to crack down on sign thefts

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is seeking help from the public in order to combat a significant increase in highway sign thefts.

According to the Cabinet, vehicle crashes have traditionally been the main cause of sign loss, but recently, incidents of theft have been on the rise.

KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat says, “In the last couple of years, we’ve noticed several areas where signs have been disappearing with some regularity. We have employees who commute to work who report clusters of missing signs that are up one day and gone the next.  Our sign crew puts up replacements only to have those signs disappear within a few days.”

The public is being asked to report suspicious activity to help reduce highway sign theft. Anyone caught in the act of stealing signs or caught on camera can be prosecuted. They also can be held liable for injuries that occur as the result of a crash due to a stolen sign.

While sign thefts have occurred in all KYTC District 1 counties, a few locations have had a significant number of thefts, including the Blackhawk area near the Lyon and Trigg County line, the Salem and Burna area of North Livingston County and parts of Graves, Marshall and McCracken counties. 

In some cases, transportation officials believe thieves have used farm equipment to pull up signs—post and all.