Troy State student arrested after street signs stolen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A Troy State student has been arrested on charges of receiving stolen property in connection with a street sign stealing case.

Troy police arrested Cody Mark Sprouse, 21 of Dothan, for the misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property third degree on warrants Tuesday, said Chief Anthony Everage.

"Sprouse was arrested in connection with an incident that reported to the department around 2:10 Saturday morning," he said.

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Police had been notified by a resident that people were stealing a railroad crossing sign at the St. Paul Street crossing in Troy.

The caller, which police did not identify, gave a description of the vehicle involved and its direction of travel, Everage said.

Troy police spotted the vehicle, described as a 1999 gray Chevrolet pickup truck, at Collegedale Apartments with a crowd of "several" people around it. In the truck's bed were seven street signs, a traffic cone belonging to the city, a mailbox and a Messenger newspaper tube. The railroad crossing sign was not recovered.

Sprouse was the owner of the pickup truck.

Everage said he was arrested and placed in the Troy City Jail, and his bond was set at $500.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said there was very little tolerance in the city for sign stealing.

"It's expensive for one thing, but the biggest problem is that someone could be seriously hurt or killed because of a missing sign," he said.

Lunsford said a wreck at the intersection of Barron Road and the Butter and Egg Road was the result of a missing stop sign.

"We had a wreck where someone ran through the intersection because they weren't familiar with the area. Thankfully they were not hurt, but that was because someone had stolen the stop sign," he said.

Lunsford said the city would prosecute anyone caught stealing a sign "to the fullest extent of the law."

City Clerk Alton Starling said in addition to the expense of new signs and the chance of a serious wreck involving a missing stop sign, emergency crews had problems identifying streets where signs were missing.

"Think about someone dying because the ambulance couldn't find a street because the sign was missing," he said. "Kids don't think about that."