Baton Rouge Sign Thief Stopped

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS

SIGN THIEF STOPPED !!

Front page news.  My husband said "Sal, they got the sign thief" so I looked at the Metro section of the morning paper.  "Where is it?"  "Front page," he said.  There it is, at the top of "The Advocate" front page.  http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/26028934.html

All of the Realtors in Baton Rouge know about the Sign Thief.  And most of us have had our own experiences with disappearing signs.  His argument is that he takes signs only from public property, and he surely feels that he is doing his civic duty.  One Realtor made a very determined effort to place her sign in a landscaped garden that is within the subdivision's common private property.  Before her open house opened, the sign was gone.

In one discussion at the office, another Realtor said "Just get over it.  It's the cost of business."  Yes, signs do cost money.  The larger issue is that without signs there is less traffic coming into an open house.  And that's a much bigger hurt.

According to the newspaper article, the Sign Thief's neighbor will be very happy when the Sheriff's Office forces him to clean up those stacks of signs from his property.

There are a lot of very happy Realtors in Baton Rouge this morning.  Thank you, David Richardson and Rick Truax, for filing a complaint with the Sheriff's Office.

 

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Ambassador
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Steve Shatsky
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - PenFed Realty Texas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Real Estate & Short Sale Specialist (214)21

Hi Sallie... This is great news.  I hear more and more agents losing signs from open houses.  I have even had agents tell me their For Sale signs on the front lawns of listings have been stolen.  Such "petty" crime can become quite costly to agents and rarely does anyone seem to get caught. 

...and while it is a cost of doing business, the point is, it shouldn't have to be one!

Thanks for sharing a bright spot in the news!

Jul 29, 2008 10:46 AM #1
Rainmaker
58,307
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge

Hi Steve, we are so glad that these two Realtors have taken time out of their busy schedules to try to put an end to this nonsense.  This man has been taking signs for many years. 

Jul 29, 2008 11:04 AM #2
Anonymous
J Guillory

I'm sure you'd all like to pretend that anything you do for your business should be overlooked. The truth is your realty signs clutter our neighborhoods and are placed in to many places that they shouldn't be. If you'd follow the laws, you'd have no problems. You're all just upset because someone finally started taking some action. I think I'll follow this gentleman's example and remove illegally placed signs in my neighborhoot.

Jul 29, 2008 08:56 PM #3
Rainmaker
58,307
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge

Mr. Guillory, I hope you will read comments posted at the Advocate's website link above.  There are some excellent explanations on how we conduct our business, why we conduct our business, the enormous benefit that this business brings to our clients, our community, the city's economy, and our families.  While Realtors have been losing signs and business because of sign removal for many years, the public at large is only now being made aware of it.  We work very hard on behalf of our clients, and the community's support is very much appreciated.

Jul 29, 2008 09:43 PM #4
Ambassador
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Todd Clark
Keller Williams Realty - Beaverton, OR
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494

I wrote a post about a sign thief we had here and I was paying a teenager to catch them on video so I could prosecute them. As soon as he started filming, I think the person saw him out there with the camera because after a month of the signs being taken every couple hours, the sign theft has stopped, not one sign taken in over a month now. I just did the update the other day.

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home - www.IFoundYourNewHome.com

Jul 31, 2008 10:54 PM #5
Rainmaker
58,307
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge

Todd, I'm glad you could put a stop to the sign theft.  Your fellow Realtors appreciate your efforts, and it just makes life and business so much easier for everyone when we don't have to deal with problems like this.

 

Aug 01, 2008 08:35 AM #6
Rainer
114,058
Larry Riggs
Re/Max Achievers - Frederick, MD
Your Frederick County Specialist

Interesting subject. I am the president of our local association here and although we don't have a sign thief it's still a hot subject. We currently have very specific sign ordinances that some agents just refuse to follow. I am all for signs. I use them myself but our ordinance says the temporary signs can only be on public property from Friday evening until Sunday evening. They must be directional so generic ad signs on public property are always outlawed. The flaw is that general signs placed over the weekend that are illegal are never questioned since the municipal employees go home at 5 on Friday. As a board we wrote a letter to one broker who constantly ignores the ordinance. His reply. If I get fined it's the cost of doing business. The problem is a couple of our county commissioners want to totally outlaw all directionals. That would really hurt open house traffic. So I must confess there are times I want to jump out of my car and take the illegal signs myself. It's not the vast majority of agents who follow the rules that are the problem. It's the few that think rules don't apply to them or that the end always justifies the means.

Aug 01, 2008 08:54 AM #7
Rainmaker
58,307
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge

Larry, your comments point out that there are two kinds of signs.  There are signs placed out for open houses, and around here, those are routinely removed on Sunday afternoon.  There are other directionals on neighborhood corners that remain there for long periods of time.  Where the community might object to the long-term signs, this is something we need to keep in mind.

Aug 01, 2008 09:23 AM #8
Rainer
13,944
Carole Lhuillier
Keller Williams Realty SunCoast - Saint Pete Beach, FL
Our Home Team Florida

Losing signs is NOT fun. I hope this trend does not continue.

Aug 01, 2008 03:24 PM #9
Rainer
43,118
Toni House
Keller Williams Realty- Red Stick Partners - Baton Rouge, LA
Realtor, Baton Rouge Real Estate Expert

Sallie,  This is great news!  I was getting tired of having to buy so many new signs to replace those that were taken even when they were LEGALLY placed.  It's a shame that people go and take down signs even when they are legally placed just because they find it to be a nuisance. 

Aug 08, 2008 02:34 PM #10
Rainmaker
58,307
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge

Toni, it will be interesting to see how this situation is resolved.  I wonder if he will clean up his yard and start all over again.  We'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best.

Aug 09, 2008 08:00 AM #11
Rainer
143,940
Christina Williams. REALTORĀ® TN property search & local insights
First Realty Company - Crossville, TN

Yeah, the sign thief is caught! ; )   I live in a rural area so catching our sign thief will be almost impossible.  There has even been talk of placing a small weather resistant camera on a tree to catch our thief.  

Aug 09, 2008 08:04 AM #12
Rainmaker
58,307
Sallie Williams
Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS - Baton Rouge, LA
REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge

Christina, a camera sounds like a possibility.  Here in town I know of some agents who have staked out the culprit on Sunday afternoons when he was most active, and followed him home.  We have known where he lives for a long time, but this is the first attempt anyone has made to stop him.  Yeah, from me too.

Aug 09, 2008 08:12 AM #13
Anonymous
Lan Nguyen

Hi. My husband lives in East Baton Rouge and someone has stolen his signs from his house on his property. Also, can anyone tell me about the laws about putting out signs in the neighborhood. I would greatly appreciate it. 

Dec 02, 2008 12:02 PM #14
Anonymous
Anonymous

Lan, if you are referring to real estate signs, they are allowed on private property.  In my subdivision, other commercial signs are not allowed, according to By-Laws, Covenants and Restrictions of the Home Owners Association. 

Dec 02, 2008 09:22 PM #15
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Sallie Williams

REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge
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