By Kym Gable

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They end up in scrap yards, dorm rooms and trash bins, and their absence is costing the City of Pittsburgh thousands of dollars.

Chief of Operations Guy Costa tells KDKA police are investigating a “rash” of street sign thefts, primarily in Oakland, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.

“It’s a big issue,” said Costa. “We’re asking scrapyards if they see anyone coming in to sell a city of Pittsburgh sign as scrap or someone hanging one in their dorm or whatever, because these signs are very expensive to purchase for the city.”

Crews recently made it a priority to replace all the School Crossing Zone signs that were missing.

Costa says it’s also costly to pay Public Works crews to re-hang the new signs.

In some cases, thieves even rip the entire pole from the ground.

Jason Cockin lives in Oakland, where many No Parking signs have been stolen.

He told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “I’m sure they’re stealing signs to get a parking spot or as a prize in their dorm room.”

Costa has no hard estimate yet on the extent of the thefts and damage. He says the traffic division is adding up the costs.

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