Thieves steal Damascus Welcome Sign - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thieves steal Damascus Welcome Sign

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

DAMASCUS,  GA (WALB) - People in the city of Damascus are pretty upset. Someone stole their welcome sign. It's worth $15,000 but it's not the just money. It's a small town, and the sign was important to them.

Police say it's likely it was a group of kids that took it as a joke, without considering the consequences and frankly how angry the town would be over it.

When people drive along Highway 45 North into Damascus, they USED to be welcomed with a sign, until someone stole it.

All that's left is a wooden post. And a frustrated police chief.

"This is part of beautifying our city, it's uncalled for," said Chief Jerry Evers.

A company donated the three hand-carved signs to Damascus, Arlington, Colquitt, and Blakely but only their sign disappeared.

It may not seem like big news, but in this town where the population is 300, everyone's talking about it.

"I think it's terrible and ridiculous," said Monique Stephens.

"Its very childish," said James Mincey.

"That's kinda odd," said Willie Wimberly.

And raises the question, "Why would anyone want to steal a sign?" said Stephens.

"You can't do anything with it, but repaint it, draw on it, kinda weird," said Mincey.

Humorous to some, to others, it's insulting.

"Damascus is a small town, getting welcome signs is a way to show the growth and potential growth for the small city," said Wimberly.

"We just want our sign back," said the chief.

While it's unlikely the thieves will have a change of heart. Police say the second best thing will be finding the pranksters, and welcoming them to jail.

Three signs were donated at the first of the year, now they're down to two. It's the first time they've ever had welcome signs and they're very proud of them.

That's why it was such a big deal to them.

The thieves will face felony theft charges and interference of government property.


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