Three weeks ago, an unknown individual or group of individuals removed a stop sign in its entirety from an intersection in the town of Crossfield. 

"[Someone] is literally taking great strides to remove them from their locations. These signs are on a galvanized pipe and they're sunk three feet into the ground and they have a bolt through them to secure them underground," said Murray Pollock, the Operations Foreman for the town of Crossfield. "They've removed a stop sign up in the north end of town. When we put a temporary sign up there, they took that one as well."

Pollock said while the problem is quite new, it is not a common occurrence. However, nonetheless, he stressed that the danger of removing traffic signs can't be ignored.

"Stop signs are traffic control devices and when a stop sign is removed there is a danger to pedestrians, to other traffic, it escalates quite significantly," he said. "Our biggest fear and the fear of everybody is an injury happening to somebody."

The removal of traffic signs or otherwise altering or defacing them carries significant penalties as an individual can be charged under a bylaw, as well as under the Traffic Safety Act, as well as criminally as an act of criminal mischief.

Pollock cited there was an incident several months prior a speed sign was also stolen, though the temporary sign has not yet been burgled. Pollock said that it is in the town's purview to take care of such matters.

"The enforcement of any of the traffic control devices are certainly either by law, municipal or provincial, but the actual installation is our responsibility. It should be pointed out to is that not only have we had signs stolen, but we've had damage done as well."

A four-way stop sign was also vandalized. However, Pollock said that whoever may be doing this, isn't doing it with malicious intentions.

"I would explain to them the safety issue. I don't personally think these individuals do it to harm anybody. It's one of those things that they can have hanging up in their room or in their man cave," Pollock said. "We are lucky in Crossfield, our speed limit throughout the entire town is only 30 kilometres an hour. But even at 30 kilometres an hour if someone doesn't see a stop sign and runs it and suddenly there's a pedestrian there or another vehicle; there's a lot of damage and a lot of inconveniences." 

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