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23 March 2012, 06:00
Metal thieves have started stealing road signs in Bedford. The signs were cut from the ground using metal cutting equipment and were found stashed in a field.
Bedford Borough Council suspect someone could have been collecting the signs and was planning on later selling them as scrap metal.
Deputy Mayor Charles Royden:
"We've had lots of grid thefts in the past and we've checked out scrap dealers locally and they're not there so it may be that they're taking the stuff a distance away.
We found in fields a stash of signs which have been left their to be collected later so it may be they're coming back with a larger lorry and taking them to another part of the country or somewhere else we just don't know"
In the long run it is the taxpayer who is paying the price for crime because it costs the Borough Council around £250 to replace each sign.
This is a considerable amount more than the thieves will get if they can even find a scrap dealer to buy the stolen property.
Local scrap dealer, John O'Brian, told Heart that road signs are made from aluminium so they would not be worth much at all.
Bedford Borough Council has now replaced most of the signs.
They are asking for anyone with information about the theft of road signs to contact the police.