Bookstore selling few street signs

The signs each cost $50 to replace.
The newly installed black and gold street signs on campus have been a target for theft this year. Sixteen of them have disappeared already this semester, even though replicas are available for purchase through the University Bookstore.

The newly-erected black and gold street signs on campus were a hot item with students as the school year began. But the same signs on sale at University Bookstore haven't been going so fast.

As students began moving in, signs began to disappear from campus intersections. The bookstore, which carries replicas, has only sold seven.

Luckily for those wandering lost and sign-less around campus, MU Police Department Capt. Brian Weimer said the number of stolen signs has dropped significantly since students have settled in.

“We have not experienced anything dramatic here lately,” he said. “Looking through the records in our system for the signs, I see that the last report was on the 27th of August at the intersection of Kentucky Boulevard and Curtis Avenue.”

Weimer said if they can catch the thieves, they will be arrested and charged with theft. But, MUPD did not keep track of the number of thefts reported. They are not in a computer system categorized by the item reported stolen, he said. It is a constant effort to end the thefts, Weimer said.

“They were supposed to be harder to steal than most signs, but Campus Facilities is constantly trying to make it more difficult," he said.

The coveted signs were funded by the Mizzou Alumni Association and put up for students and intended to make campus unique compared to the rest of Columbia, Campus Facilities Manager Karlan Seville said.

“We wanted the students to identify the boundaries of campus so that once you drove onto campus, you knew that you had arrived,” Seville said. “We approached the alumni association to see if they would fund the signs, and they agreed.”

The signs are all over campus, but thieves mainly targeted intersections. Seville said the signs cost about $50 each to replace, but because intersections have two signs, it costs about $100 per incident.

To prevent thieves from stealing the signs, Campus Facilities is still working to make the signs durable and tamper-proof.

“We had talked about students stealing the signs before we had put them out,” Seville said. “We have made the signs tamper-proof and pretty much indestructible, and we are in the process of replacing the stolen signs.”

The bookstore sells single-sided street signs for $34.99 and double-sided for $39.99. Student Auxiliary spokeswoman Michelle Froese said the revenue from each purchase goes the general scholarship fund. They're also customizable.

“You can special order the signs to say whatever you would like," she said. "They don’t necessarily have to say 'Missouri' or 'Tiger.'”

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