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Edmonton Police Service

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Police investigating citywide thefts of batteries from road signs

For Immediate Release:08-Feb-2018 @ 3:00 PM
MRU #:18R015

The Edmonton Police Service is asking for the public’s assistance in reporting suspicious activity around City of Edmonton battery-powered display message signs.

  

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Approximately 130 of these signs are in use around the city to inform road users of issues such as construction, traffic incidents, major events, seasonal parking bans and emergency updates, including Amber Alerts. Most are powered by solar energy, which is stored in six-volt battery units.

 

The City of Edmonton has reported thefts of these batteries from 18 signs in 2016, 24 in 2017 and five in 2018 to date. The alleged thefts cause damage to the signs, resulting in repair and replacement costs averaging $1,000 per sign each time batteries are forcibly removed.

 

“These alleged thefts not only cost taxpayer dollars, but more importantly, they deprive road users of critical information that affects their safety and convenience,” says Michael Vaudan, senior engineer, City of Edmonton.

 

“We’re asking citizens to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity around these signs to police,” says Det. Pat Bruni with EPS Northeast Division. “If it’s safe to do so, obtaining a license plate number or even a vehicle description will help us identify suspects.”

 

“The only time you should see someone doing maintenance on a display message sign is during regular workday hours,” adds Vaudan.

 

Investigators are encouraging anyone with information about this crime to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.

  

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For more information, please contact Derek Logan (City of Edmonton) at 780-508-9215 or Cheryl Voordenhout (EPS) at 780-421-3507

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