$10,000 reward for sign vandal conviction

Published 3:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2016


A digital billboard owner is offering $10,000 for the arrest and conviction of a vandal who has caused up to $20,000 worth of damage to one of the company’s billboards.

According to Bill Durden of Durden Outdoors, a vandal has “slaughtered” the wires in the top of the digital sign three times over the past two months.

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The first instance of the vandalism occurred over the Fourth of July weekend, Durden said.

“We noticed we were having some issues and we figured out that somebody had climbed up 40 or 50 feet in the air with a machete and started chopping wires,” Durden said.

The next time the sign was vandalized was on Labor Day morning.

“We monitor these signs from the internet and we noticed there were tiles that we couldn’t communicate with,” Durden said. “So we went out the next day and I’d be doggone, the machete man had been back again.”

The very next day, the vandal struck again, sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. according to Durden. A nearby storeowner said that the sign looked good when he went in at 6:30, but found cut wires all over the pavement at 8:30 a.m. when he went outside to take out the trash.

Durden estimated that each act of vandalism cost $3,000 to $4,000 for service crews and equipment, not taking into account advertising time.

The police were called on all three occasions, and Durden said that they are following up on a few leads.

A trapdoor cage with multiple locks and security cameras has been installed to help protect the display board from further vandalism.

At 10 feet tall and 42 feet wide, the billboard is the largest in Troy according to information on Durden Outdoor’s website. It is located at the intersection of US Highway 231 and US Highway 167, which, according to Durden, boasts the highest traffic count in Troy.

Tips can be made to the Troy Police Department at 566-5555. Tips will be kept confidential.