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WEBSTER COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – From Monroe to Itawamba and points in between like Clay County, law enforcement agencies and other emergency responders are reminding the public that it’s a crime to tamper with road signs.

In Webster like other counties, road signs are vanishing from their permanent spot on roadways. There has been a rash of thefts.

“A lot of ours are coming up missing in a specific area like in district Five here. But over the whole county, other areas have had some missing too at different places,” said Jimmy McLemore, Webster County 911 Director.

Although some may view it as a joke or prank, in Webster County the crime of stealing road sign has deadly consequences.

“When you come up to roads or intersections where signs are missing, emergency responders, his direction is limited then. He has to rely on other areas. Especially if he doesn’t know that area that he is in,” said McLemore.

In Monroe County the same sign in Webster County costs $90 to $100 when adding hardware, and cost for installation. Even using modern technology is always not enough.

“Even with GPS in front of you and even with the 911 mapping program you still need these road signs to back up what you are being told,” said McLemore.

Simple theft of road signs to some, to others it can be a deadly criminal act.

“If there is a missing road sign, that could very well throw that emergency responders off. And its going to take them a little bit longer to find out if that in fact is the right road they need to be on,” said McLemore.

Those missing road signs are all over Webster County but mainly occurring on 7 or eight roads in District Five.

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