Lawton_People who steal road signs could be guilty of more than just vandalism. They could be responsible for someone getting hurt, or even worse. Vandals from Comanche County are stealing what are called "advanced warning" signs.
These are the signs put up to warn folks about washed out bridges and roads. The county is working to get the roads fixed, but it's slow going. So the signs need to stay put. But they are being moved so unknowingly, folks are driving into areas that are unsafe. And that can lead to a deadly situation.
It's costing the county a lot of money to replace and repair the traffic signs. At least ten thousand dollars in the past six months, which comes right out of Lawton taxpayers pockets. But, the most important thing is just how potentially dangerous removing these warning signs is. The thieves are "...putting our lives in jeopardy. Not just mine, everybody's lives.", Debbie McDonald said.
McDonald is the Safety Supervisor for District Three. She's been going out every Monday to check and make sure the advanced warning signs are still where they belong. She says that the signs are there to warn drivers about the conditions of these, sometimes unfamiliar and changeable, country roads. McDonald and her team have had to replace many signs warning of the damage done from the flooding.
There is an investigation going on right now into the theft of the advanced warning signs. This is not something to take lightly, it's a serious matter. Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley says it may just start as a prank, but if someone gets hurt, it could be a lot more trouble. Authorities assure citizens that the culprits will be caught.