It's a prank that can have tragic consequences.
Blacksburg Police say it's not uncommon to replace roads signs because they're stolen. Police say within the last 12 months, three stop signs, and three roads signs have been stolen. One man, they say, was caught in the act.
Blacksburg is a college to which may have something to do with it. Police say most are taken from student populated areas or downtown and they're often taken as souvenirs. Officers will often come across the stolen signs when answering a call like a noise complaint.
Police say even having a sign will get you in trouble. "Our town doesn't sell or auction any old or unused signs so if somebody is in possession of a sign that's from the town, it's possession of stolen property," said Lt. Nathan O'Dell. "They can face criminal charges for that."
Police say some of the signs cost upwards of $200 which would make it a felony. The cost is priceless when it comes to safety. O'Dell recalls an accident more than a decade ago that happened after a stop sign was stolen from its post. "That's the seriousness of taking a stop sign, thinking you're taking it for a souvenir but the big picture is if somebody is not use to that intersection and doesn't think the sign is supposed to be there," he said. "People get hurt, that's the bad part."