News / Edmonton

Edmonton police looking for thieves who keep taking batteries out of road signs

Each alleged theft costs taxpayers about $1,000, the city says

NONE Edmonton police would like people to stop stealing batteries out of road signs. Uploaded by: Boyd, Alex

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NONE Edmonton police would like people to stop stealing batteries out of road signs. Uploaded by: Boyd, Alex

Edmonton Police would like your help figuring out who keeps allegedly stealing the batteries out of the city's large orange display message signs.

According to police, the city reported 18 battery thefts in 2016, 24 in 2017, and five so far in 2018. Between repair, replacement costs and general damage, each theft ends up costing the city about $1,000.

“These alleged thefts not only cost taxpayer dollars, but more importantly, they deprive road users of critical information that affects their safety and convenience,” Michael Vaudan, a senior engineer with the city, said in a press release.

The city currently has about 130 signs in use around Edmonton to warn people about things like traffic conditions and major events. Most are solar powered, but store energy in attached six-volt batteries.

“We’re asking citizens to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity around these signs to police,” EPS Det. Pat Bruni said in the same release. “If it’s safe to do so, obtaining a license plate number or even a vehicle description will help us identify suspects.”

“The only time you should see someone doing maintenance on a display message sign is during regular workday hours,” Vaudan added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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