Stolen Signs Could Be The Difference Between Life and Death

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Pictures of stolen road signs land on Myspace, and now some kids in Baxter County are in trouble with the law because of it.

It's an expensive prank, it can cost at least 50 dollars to replace them.

The city of Jonesboro spends between two and three thousand dollars replacing street signs each year, but what starts out as a prank could land you in jail.

"How are we going to get assistance to that person who is having a heart attack," asks

9-1-1 Director, Bob Andrews.

"The city and county is doing everything they can to put those street signs in place but now they're stolen because someone thinks it's fun to have a street sign in their yard or in their basement or in their child's room," said Andrews.

What usually starts off as what some think is a harmless prank, can turn into a tragedy if a sign that's supposed to be in place isn't there when first responders are trying to respond.

"It's putting someone's life in danger when their trying to help someone but they can't because they don't know where they are going," said Andrews.

"That could put someone's life in danger, a few seconds could make a difference," said Keith Baggett.

First responder Keith Baggett says increasingly they can depend on GPS systems to help guide them when street signs are hard to find or not there at all.....but you can't always rely on technology.....that's when signs are vital.

"They may be going to a relatives or a friend and if we can't find that address based on a sign missing that could put someone's life in danger," said Baggett.

In the city of jonesboro alone, there are over 25-hundred intersections, and with an average of 10,000 calls dispatched each month, what some think is a prank is certainly no laughing matter when a quick response time could be the difference in life or death.

9-11 Director Bob Andrews says it's also very important to have numbers clearly marked and un-obstructed on your home so the address can be clearly identified.

To report a missing street sign if you live in Jonesboro or you live in Craighead County, you can call 932-0660 or call 933-4510.