FARMINGTON — Several street and traffic control signs have been stolen throughout the downtown area this fall, according to Farmington police Deputy Chief Shane Cote.

It happens every year but there have been more this fall, he said. It costs the town a lot of money to replace them.

“We’re not pointing fingers,” Cote said of a request to University of Maine at Farmington police Chief Brock Caton to watch for them and to educate students about sign thefts.

That is the gist of a Facebook message posted Thursday on the campus police department site. The message promises police will not pursue charges if the signs are returned to the campus police department.

But, “anyone in possession of these signs will be arrested for possession of stolen property, so please do the right thing and return them,” the Facebook post reads.

The request stems from local police seeing a college apartment with signs hanging on the wall. That doesn’t mean they are stolen signs, and it doesn’t give police automatic entry to check, Cote said.


The department has also requested that residential assistants in the dormitories watch for signs on their nightly rounds.

Street signs such as Poverty Lane and Smiling Goat Lane are repeatedly taken, Cote said. Police and the Public Works Department said other signs are also being taken.

When someone doesn’t want to risk a parking ticket, the no parking sign disappears. It is sometimes found in bushes nearby, sometimes it’s taken, he said.

A “Do Not Enter” sign was taken on Halloween at Prescott and Main streets. A sign from a Farmington attorney office, Mills and Mills, was taken this fall, he said.

Anything with the number 420 on it quickly disappears, he said. The number is a sign for marijuana use. Likewise the number 419 represents “you got a minute” to take a smoke break, he said.

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