How to Get Rid of Stolen Street Signs

Did you recently find a stolen street sign in your neighborhood? Oh cool, so you will learn here how to get rid of stolen street signs. I would not say you did not deliberately steal the street sign but it is okay if you did. I mean, we do odd stuff for the money, humor, and for the sake of ‘doing’.

how to get rid of stolen street signs


To get rid of stolen street signs, dispose of them at the recycle center or public services department. You can also sell stolen signs on Craigslist, eBay, etc. Ensure to clean any traces of your DNA using rubbing alcohol.

Nobody cares if you possess stolen street signs unless they recently went missing from their spots. The police have better problems to deal with but somebody will question you if you get caught.


Is it against the law to have street signs?

It is not against the law to have street signs but illegal if you possess stolen street signs. If you bought street signs from someone, you want to be sure they are not stolen signs. Possessing stolen street signs is theft of government property irrespective of the purpose. Therefore, it is how you acquire street signs that could make having them legal or illegal. Always keep purchase receipts of street signs in your possession to avoid problems.

How to Get Rid of Stolen Street Signs

You want to be careful when getting rid of stolen street signs, especially they were recently stolen.

Below are the ways regarding how to get rid of stolen street signs:

  1. Get rid of any traces

If you want to be the fictional Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible, the first thing to do is get rid of your fingerprints from the stolen street sign. You can clean the stolen street sign with rubbing alcohol.


You may also use bleach to completely remove any traces of your DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) from the sign. This way, whether you dispose of it, junk, sell, or do whatever, the stolen sign cannot be traced to you.

  1. Handle the street sign disposable rubber gloves

After getting rid of any traces of DNA, get yourself disposable rubber gloves. If you want to support your local plumber, flush the gloves down your toilet. Finally, get rid of the stolen street signs in municipal garbage late at night, keeping yourself out of sight. Watch out for the surveillance cameras too.

  1. Lie to the public services department that you found it

You can tell lies to get rid of stolen street signs. Visit the parking lot of the public services department and drop it off.

If anyone questions, say you found it lying around someplace. Unless they have pictures and videos showing when the street sign was removed, they have no questions for you.

I have also found and returned a couple of stop signs while scavenging for recyclables. Of course, you can find street signs in weird places. It could have been displaced after a strong wind. Someone could also have stolen and dumped the street sign where you found it stolen.

It is also possible that a vehicle hit the street sign and it ended up where you found it. It could still be considered stolen in this regard if you have had it in your possession for so long.

  1. Recycling center

Many recycling centers take stolen street signs for scrap value without asking questions. If you have kept a stolen road sign with you for a long time, the recycling center will happily collect it from you.

Can street signs be tracked

There is nothing the recycling center will really do if it is a stolen street sign you are turning in for cash or free. Moreover, if possessed the stolen street signs for years, the Statutes of Limitations are favorable here.

  1. Sell it on Craigslist or eBay

You can get rid of stolen street signs on Craigslist, eBay, or any listing platform. List the stolen signs as expired. Be careful though, you could be transacting with a police officer.

But there is nothing to fear. You can explain that you found it in your current house when you moved in and do not intend to keep it. There are even better lies than this, use the comment section to get more suggestions from me.

Read also: Ways a thief makes a stolen phone untraceable

Why are street signs stolen?

People steal street signs for weird and nearly significant reasons. Below are the reasons street traffic signs are stolen:

  • To sell as scrap metal

What happens when you steal street signs

Some citizens will make money any way possible, this includes stealing and selling street signs as scrap metal. Unfortunately, this activity costs the government and taxpayers a lot of money. Stolen road signs, for instance, costs Kelly Snell, Precinct 1 McLennan County Commissioner, nearly $1,600 to replace.

  • Humor

It is hard to believe but people steal street signs for humorous reasons, you would think they are insane. For example, Colorado officials had to replace the ‘420’ road sign with ‘419.99’ to deter thefts. ‘420’ is a code word for pot/dope or getting high, so weed smokers get to steal the signs for themselves. This happened often.

  • Collections and decorations

Stolen signs are also used to decorate homes and garages. People with cool interior designs would not think twice before hijacking the nearest street sign in their neighborhood.

  • Souvenir

Like people who collect seashells from beaches they have visited, some also collect street signs from the streets they have lived in or visited to keep as souvenirs. This is theft irrespective of any souvenir claims.

  • Names

People steal street signs that carry their names. I do not know but it seems there is some connectedness between the sign and the person stealing it since it carries their name. My friend’s dad still has a stolen street sign with him from his teenage because it carries his name.

What happens when you steal street signs?

Is it illegal to sell street signs

Stealing a street sign is a misdemeanor, and the penalty is a jail term potentially up to one year and a fine. If you are caught with many stolen street signs, it can become grand larceny, this is a felony that lands you in state prison, paying fines and restitution.

Stealing street signs can expose an intersection to accidents. Instead of taking them away, help your neighborhood by getting the government to put up more street traffic signs.

As mentioned earlier, stolen street signs also cost the taxpayers and the government to replace them. It could take even longer for the government to replace missing street signs.


Do they put trackers in street signs?

Trackers are not put in street signs; it will be a waste of money and resources. However, GPS programs are used to know the specific locations of street signs in your neighborhood. Thus, when a street sign is stolen, your local traffic engineers may be able to tell.

Is it bad to take street signs?

It is bad to take street signs. A street sign is the state’s property installed to guide road users, stealing is theft, and attracts fines and jail term according to your state.

Final Thoughts

If you keep a stolen street sign for a long time in your possession, no one cares anymore, the city would have replaced it long ago. In this case, leave the traffic sign in the garbage.

If a police officer catches you stealing a street sign but has nothing significant to do, they can pursue charges.

Read also: your local police knows if your vehicle was towed or stolen

Street signs are not for stealing, do not get caught.

The family Instructor
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