420 Signs Go Missing

420 Signs Go Missing
By: CJ Cassidy

Stoddard County, IL - E

mergency responders in one
H
eartland
c
ounty have an unusual problem on their hands.

A
very specific sign is disappearing from one county road.

S
toddard
C
ounty crews say their losing signs from route
420.

T
he stretch of highway runs
E
ast
W
est across the county
, a
nd 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.

T
hat isn't easy for emergency responders in
S
toddard
C
ounty
,
when thieves keep stealing the signs on
County Rd. 420.

"W

ithout th
ese
county road sign
s
standing here it may cos
t
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.

S
o what's so special about these signs?

"I

've heard it's
N
ational
D
ope
S
moking
D
ay
," one man pointed out.

U
nofficially
,
some refer to
A
pril twentieth as
N
ational
M
arijuana
S
moke-out
D
ay.

U
rban legend say
s
four-twenty represents the time of day marijuana smokers light up
,
so these signs would be quite the
"
token
"
.

B
ut
P
ippins 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.

P

eople have been stealing the signs from county road 420 for going on ten years now
,
and
residents
who live along th
e
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.

S

toddard
C
ounty spends more
$3,000
replacing the signs just for county road 420 each year.

P
olice 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.