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Sign thieves...

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Pat Whatley, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    It happens every year around this time, somebody starts stealing MDO real estate signs. I've always been convinced that hunters are stealing them to make shooting houses but that's nothing but speculation.

    Sunday I had to run some stuff to my mom's house about an hour south of my house. I had two signs scheduled for installation down that way so I figured I'd put them up while I was out and save a trip this week (buying time so I can take another four day weekend). Installed the two 4x8 signs on two 4x4 posts each, went to my mom's and visited for 15 minutes.

    Driving home the two signs were gone. Less than 30 minutes after I put up the second sign they were stolen, posts and all.

    I think for the replacements I'm going to put them in with lag bolts, plus squirt gorilla glue between the sign and the posts, plus pour about 160 pounds of concrete in each of the holes. If they want it I'm sure they'll still take it but at least they'll have to work for it.
     
    Tags:
  2. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    Yikes!
    There's probably someone in a snit about all kinds of signage..."Blockin' out the scenery..breaking my mind..."
    Re-install...get out of sight..then wait...get a license plate #.
    Good luck.
    Ken
     
  3. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    the only time i have had a sign actually stolen it was the customer who took it.

    the sign was for a gypsy family (their description) and honest to goodness they all claimed to be psychics/hand readers etc. i demanded my 50% discount in cash and when i was leaving the youngest kid there about 9yrs old bumped into me hard and picked pocketed me (seriously) i caught him on the spot and took my deposit back from the kid, told his mom and grandma and they acted like they were so disappointed...

    i showed up to install the sign and no one was there as we had discussed, the sign was in bfe and i did not want to make a repeat trip so against my better judgement i installed the sign..they assured me that i could come back tomorrow and get payment or they would mail me a check..whatever i wanted, i told them to mail me a check.

    unexpectedly 2 days later i happened to be out that way so i drove by and the sign was gone...i peeked in the windows and everything was gone....cabinets, fixtures, everything.

    about 6 months later i was driving down a main road about and there's my sign in the ground. they took the damn thing and put it in front of another location. i marched in and their eyes popped out of their heads in surpise...they were extremely scared, my adrenaline was pumping...i told them 'no stories, no explanations, i was calling the cops'. pulled out my cellphone and they started shoving $100 bills at me...

    i got paid very well for that sign when all was said and done.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I like stories with happy endings, Dan.


    Pat, use carriage bolts, double nut them and hacksaw the threads and bend them upward a little, but not enough to break them off.
     
  5. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    We had a similar experience with some nicely made yard sale signs we made for our own yard sale. Did them on aluminum with standard H-frame real estate stands. 5 out of 6 were gone when we went to get them after the sale.

    A couple of weeks later we saw them displayed a few miles from where we live ... so we recovered them including one stuck in the front lawn of the thieves without any complaint from them.
     
  6. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    We had one "stolen". It was for a housing development that already had several homes in it that people had paid $600k+ for. The new sign said "Starting in the $400's". The sign was recovered just down the bank in the woods from where we installed it so I'm sure it was an angry homeowner.
     
  7. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    If they are taking the posts too, when you remake the sign, you should hollow out a spot in the posts and stick one of these bad boys in it. Then contact the police if they steal them again with their exact location. :Big Laugh
     
  8. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

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    Giving your Mom only 15 minutes? Karma got you Pat.:wink:
     
  9. Kwiksigns

    Kwiksigns wookie

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    install some more and put proximity mines on them
     
  10. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    You might have a point. :ROFLMAO:
     
  11. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    We never get big stuff taken. On our farms we always used to get No Trespassing signs ripped off. I started smearing axle grease all over the backs of them. Not one has been taken since, I do sometimes see finger marks on them. That stuff is a SOB to get off of your hands, so I am sure there are some teenagers out there mad as heck with grease all over them and the get-away car.
     
  12. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Pat, take a photo of the completed install after you're done. Sign ownership transfers at the moment you're done. (legally speaking)

    Maybe in this case you'd want to go ahead and replace at your own costs (as you did), but legally you wouldn't have to. Learned this when we installed and then the sign was subsequently vandalized. It's actually not your problem if you can document a completed sign, date and time.

    Just 2 cents.
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Hey-y-y-y-y..... three..... now that's a very clever idea..........

    Forget the picture of a sign installed, part. Just dig two holes, throw some cement in there...... and and wait for the customer to say something.

    You tell 'em.... I put them in myself two weeks ago and I'll bet someone stole 'em right from under your nose !!


    Do ya want two more ?? I'll give them to ya ... a little cheaper since I already have the layout on the computer. :rolleyes:



    Dang, that's even better than 'Built in Obsolescence'. :covereyes:
     
  14. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Hmmmm...let's expand on that idea a little.

    So the client phones, you tell him you did the job but someone must have stolen the signs, he asks for a statement from you to attest to that fact, turns around and files a claim with his insurance company...with your affidavid prominently stapled to the front of the claim form.

    Presto, change-o! Your new address is the grey bar hotel for insurance fraud.
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Nope, presto doesn't mean.... go to jail.


    Presto means.... you told him about the signs being installed and he puts in a claim and you can sign papers all day long. There is only his claim. No one can say anything different. If someone happens to take a picture of you digging and putting cement in the holes, you merely say, you put the signs in afterwards. If someone has pictures of you leaving the scene and the signs or posts aren't there yet, again.... you merely say you just dug the holes and are going to your shop to get the signs. It was a last minute decision while you were at your Mother's visiting.
    They just didn't happen to have a picture in the short time they were there before they were stolen. It's a win/win deal. Just don't do it more than four times in the same area.... or it might start to sound suspicious..... then !!
     
  16. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    hey pat i got 2 signs just like the ones you put up......WANA BUY EM????HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
     
  17. onesource

    onesource Very Active Member

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    I was selling real estate 10 yrs ago and all my signs I had out for an open house were stolen while I was at the house. I brought some more the next day and waited like a trap spider, then BAM caught her "local Realtor" lit into her like a mad man "calculated mad man". I called her every name I could think of and told her I would hire someone just for removing her signs for the next 3 yrs. Signs stayed up and no more probs.
    Those wood signs do make good skateboard ramps!
     
  18. onesource

    onesource Very Active Member

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    I woulda told them I had to go to another Psychic to find ya mf's
    Glad you got paid.
     
  19. onesource

    onesource Very Active Member

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    Those big Christmas cards..ironic..
     
  20. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    wow some new lows for customers wow
     
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