SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - We all know how vital roads signs can be to drivers, especially if you're not familiar with the area. Officials in San Augustine said that's why they want to catch the theft or thieves who've been stealing traffic signs for years.
"We had some of them stolen within hours of being put up," Commissioner Stanley Jackson, San Augustine precinct 1 said.
Like a theft in the night, traffic signs with in the San Augustine County line keep popping up missing. Officials said they've been having this issue for the last five years and have had enough.
"We're going to put out cameras and try to catch them," Jackson said. "We are going to talk to the sheriff's department to see what they can do to help us resolve this problem."
A major problem with missing road signs is the safety and well-being of San Augustine residents driving on the roads, as well as visitors passing through the county.
"When you put up stop signs on our county roads where they intersect somebody tears them down," Jackson said. "Nobody knows when to stop if they're not familiar with that road that causes a problem."
"Our major concern is the safety of our residences on these county roads," Judge Samye Johnson, of San Augustine said.
Johnson said the person or persons responsible are seriously hurting tax payers. Each time a traffic sign is stolen, money comes out of the commissioner's budget.
"People who are stealing these signs are stealing directly from the citizens of this county," Johnson said.
"It's not right for us to have to buy these signs and use tax payer's dollars and then get them stolen," Jackson said. "Somebody needs to quite stealing them."
In fact, last year commissioners spent a little more than $10,000 on road signs alone.
"These signs cost a lot of money," Jackson said. "All of the commissioners together, we spend thousands of dollars for signs."
"It could be that people don't know how dangerous it is and how much it cost," Johnson said.
To help cut back on spending commissioners had to get creative.
"We've gotten to the point where we are making our own signs," Johnson said. "We get the blank signs and put the letters on ourselves to save money."
Officials are hoping residents take this matter serious before someone gets killed.
"This is a very dangerous deal, we just need to have it stopped," Jackson said,
Johnson said they're going to start a public awareness campaign in hopes to bring more attention to it.