Bamberg, South Carolina (December 2018) – Bamberg County recently received a report of fourteen missing street signs in the Ehrhardt area; there are additional missing signs in other areas of the county. Bamberg County Administration and Emergency Services Department issued a statement reminding residents that it is illegal to remove street signs. Individuals who remove of street signs can be cited by law enforcement officers for petit larceny. Upon conviction of petit larceny in the Bamberg County Magistrate’s Court, the individual may be fined up to one thousand dollars, or imprisoned up to thirty days per SC Code of Laws Section 16-13-30(A).
In addition to being an unlawful act, the removal of street signs requires additional, unbudgeted expense of approximately $120 per sign; this cost includes the labor of identifying locations of missing signs and installing the sign. Missing street signs create difficulty for mail and package delivery drivers, in particular, new employees who may be unfamiliar with an area. In the event of an emergency, a missing sign may delay a life-saving response by first responders including Emergency Medical Services, Fire and Police Departments.
“Stolen street signs potentially endanger lives by delaying first responders, place an additional burden on taxpayers, and present challenges to US Postal Service workers and other delivery company employees,” stated Joey Preston, Bamberg County Administrator. “Residents are encouraged to report individuals who steal street signs to the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Department.”
Missing street signs should be reported to the Bamberg County Services Department; this department manages addressing in Bamberg County. Bamberg County Emergency Services can be reached at 803-245-4313, option 1 or 803-245-3013. If residents witness an individual in the act of stealing a sign or are aware of a theft, this should be reported to the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Department so appropriate legal action can be pursued. To contact the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Department call 803-245-3011.