Facebook Posts Help Deputies Search For Mayes County Sign Thief

Tuesday, December 17th 2013, 7:21 pm
By: News On 6

Pictures posted to Facebook may have helped the Mayes County Sheriff's Office find the person who stole more than two dozen street signs.

Those signs have gone missing in Mayes County.

"Stop signs, dead end signs, road sign markers, etc," said Captain Rod Howell, Mayes County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office says county workers noticed last Friday that 25 street signs were not where they're supposed to be. Most of the signs were stolen around Adair in the northwestern part of the county.

The signs marking 420 Road were one of the more prominent signs to have been stolen, that number is popular among marijuana smokers. The sheriff's office says it got a break in the investigation when they were tipped off to pictures on Facebook.

"We use the social media on a day to day basis, as far as Facebook, and we do have investigators that do look at these sites," Howell said.

Captain Rod Howell declined to show us the pictures, but he says they show an adult man who they are now calling a person of interest.

"You can see them with the signs there," he said. "It looks like bottles of alcohol, stuff like that."

Captain Howell says this could be much more dangerous than just theft. For example, if someone is killed because a stop sign is stolen, whoever stole that sign could face manslaughter charges.

"The thing about it is - if someone gets hurt, it's not petty larceny," said Captain Rod Howell, MCSO. "It's a felony; it's serious jail time."

Captain Howell says the hard part is proving the person on Facebook is the same person who stole the signs, but he's glad social media has provided a key piece of the puzzle.

"It makes our job easier, and I'll be honest with you those social media sites like that, it does make our job easier and we sometime got to sit back and get taken a back and laugh and go, 'My gosh,'" Howell said.

If you know anything about the thefts, you can call the Mayes County Sheriff's Office at 918-825-3535.