'Welcome to the City of DeRidder' sign stolen - again - FOX29 Lake Charles

'Welcome to the City of DeRidder' sign stolen - again

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(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) -

This isn't the first time the "Welcome to the City of DeRidder" has been stolen. 

On La. 27, it can get quite dark at night and there's not much around - making the sign an easy target.

When the sign last went missing, DeRidder Police Chief John Gott said they didn't have to search long.

"It was magically returned - after a few phone calls - and some ideas of where it had gone. It magically appeared back, so it wasn't damaged and we were able to put it back up," said Gott. 

The sign went missing again this past Saturday

"The main thing is - we just want the sign back," Gott said. 

He said he has a "no harm, no foul" attitude towards the case but if the sign is not returned soon, that may change.

"If we have to continue looking for it and invest man hours in it, then it's a theft," he said.

Stealing and vandalizing signs may seem like harmless high school pranks, but Gott said it costs the taxpayers money and can be a more serious offense.

"It's a crime. At the very least, it's a misdemeanor, which can be punishable up to six months in jail and a lot of times, they're felony offenses because these signs are expensive," he said.

DeRidder police is currently investigating the case and Gott warns the sign thieves said their grace period is running out.

"We got some leads that we're looking at, so if you're the one who did it, know we are coming to you shortly, but we can give you the opportunity now to get it put back up with no problems," he said.

Gott said anyone with information on the whereabouts of the sign is asked to call the DeRidder Police Department. 

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