Sometimes it is the little things in life that people take for granted. In Cumberland County, those little things are beginning to add up.
According to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department, a recent increase in road and street sign theft is plaguing the county. Deputies told 10News as many as 20 road signs have been stolen within the past week.
"A lot of people would consider this a harmless circumstance,"
Lieutenant Gary Howard of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department
said on Thursday.
While the perpetrators may be exchanging their stolen
signs for money at a scrapyard, the county estimates each of the signs will cost the county about $160. Already, it's costing the county thousands of dollars for the current replacements.
"We've had a lot of issues in the past with scrap dealers -- people getting scrap, stealing things and taking them to dealers," Lt. Howard said.
Aside from the economic impact, the problem carries a much larger impact for first responders.
"If a street sign is not there, we may pass a street and have to turn around. It could cost, ultimately, someone's life," Crossville Fire Department Chief Mike Turner said.
That's a problem firefighters, EMS, police and other county officials hope will not happen.
"You can imagine the moment if your mother was on oxygen and the ambulance was coming and someone had stolen the street sign and EMS is delayed," Lt. Howard added.
According to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department, if you are caught vandalizing a street sign, you can face a $2,500 fine and up to 11 months and 29 days in jail.
No word on when the already missing signs will be replaced.