DUNEDIN, Fla. — Call it Sign-gate.
- Dunedin city officials have issue with street sign being stolen
- Mary Jane Lane street sign stolen multiple times
- Latest replacement welded to pole and anchored in cement
The city of Dunedin has been forced to spend thousands of dollars to replace a stolen street sign - multiple times.
It may have something to do with the name of the street: Mary Jane Lane.
Christina Page is a lifelong Dunedin resident and lives on the quiet street near Dunedin High School.
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"When I called the city, they explained to me that since the sign has been stolen so many times and since most people use their electronic devices to locate addresses, they weren't going to replace it," Page said.
However, eventually the sign was replaced.
"Obviously, Mary Jane...it's got some history," said Dunedin Director of Public Services Keith Fogarty. "I'm not going to get into what the history of Mary Jane is...it's a little bit more than somebody's name."
Page didn't have a problem going there.
"I mean, they named it Mary Jane Lane, so..." Page said, laughing.
There is a connotation attached to that name.
"Absolutely," Page said.
Stealing it once was one thing. But in recent years, the signs at both ends of the street have gone missing eight times. The replacement cost has inched up to almost $1,000.
Short of changing the name of the street, city officials did some brainstorming to figure out how to put the sign back up and make it stay up.
In the past, anyone with a decent tool could have removed the sign. That's not the case anymore. It can't even be wiggled out of the ground.
Instead of bolting the sign to the pole, the sign is now welded to the pole and the pole is anchored in cement 40 inches into the ground.
"I want to give credit to my staff for thinking outside the box on this one," Fogarty said.
But officials said they will still keep an eye on the new signs to see if these go up in smoke also.
City officials get all the pot jokes but remind residents that stealing a street sign is a third-degree felony and could land a perpetrator a $5,000 fine and a jail sentence up to five years.
Also, neighbors indicated there may be a few home security cameras now aimed at the corner.