420 Signs Go Missing - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Stoddard Co., MO

420 Signs Go Missing

420 Signs Go Missing
By: CJ Cassidy

Stoddard County, IL - Emergency responders in one Heartland county have an unusual problem on their hands.

A very specific sign is disappearing from one county road.

Stoddard County crews say their losing signs from route 420.

The stretch of highway runs East West across the county, and it's no coincidence the signs are going "up in smoke!"

"It's awful hard to look at a map and run the siren and lights at the same time so we try to landmark as much as we can," 911 Administrator Bill Pippins says.

That isn't easy for emergency responders in Stoddard County, when thieves keep stealing the signs on County Rd. 420.

"Without these county road signs standing here it may cost someone their life because if we run into a heart attack victim working on that golden hour the sooner we can get to them the better," Pippins says.

So what's so special about these signs?

"I've heard it's National Dope Smoking Day," one man pointed out.

Unofficially, some refer to April twentieth as National Marijuana Smoke-out Day.

Urban legend says four-twenty represents the time of day marijuana smokers light up, so these signs would be quite the "token".

But Pippins doesn't find anything remotely funny about the thefts.

"I'm trying to warn parents if they see an innocent road sign in their son or daughter's bedroom or in their car if it happens to have 420 on it could have more significance than you think," he says.

People have been stealing the signs from county road 420 for going on ten years now, and residents who live along the road finally got so tired of it all, they started nailing the numbers to stop signs.

"They should stop and think before they tear those signs down because it maybe one of their relatives someday that needs an ambulance or something," resident Scotty Smothers says.

Stoddard County spends more $3,000 replacing the signs just for county road 420 each year.

Police say charges for stealing a sign only amount to a misdemeanor but if the missing sign led to someone's injury or death theives could face felony charges.

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