Ad Exec Arrested For Removing Illegal Roadside Advertisements

from the please-explain dept

It's no secret that we live in an age of aggressive (and perhaps excessive) advertising. Advertising is absolutely everywhere -- and apparently one ad exec got fed up. He discovered one of those "street side" signs that advertisers stick into the ground alongside roads on his own property. He removed it and then began removing many more. He called up local authorities who told him that it was illegal to place those signs on private property or on public property, but said they didn't have the resources to go around removing them. That seemed like an opportunity, so he began removing them -- sometimes calling the companies advertised in the signs to offer his services as an ad exec to provide more effective, less annoying, advertisements (not surprisingly, none have taken him up on the offer). However, for some reason, he's now been arrested for theft over the signs. It's not clear if the article is leaving out some sort of detail or what, but it's hard to see how removing an illegal advertising sign should be considered theft.

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  1. identicon
    Tree Cop, 28 Aug 2006 @ 8:30am

    Every once in a while

    Every once in a while, one of these topics takes on a mind of its own and runs off on some interesting tangents. Usually, it is someone’s personal agenda to bash another persons agenda; however, with this topic is has gone to COP bashing, and a slew of illogical and illiterate stereotyping of an out of date image of COPS. Jesus you mind numb, meth. heads, get with the times and realize that if your going to use stereotypical slurs, at least use more modern versions, which reflect a progression of time and technology. Notice that I don’t refer to anyone in an old time worn, and most out of date, fashion as ‘pot heads’, ‘reefer head’, ‘dope smoker’, ‘gonja sucker’ or any of an entire line up of stand-by references used in the past, for any group of inarticulate, illiterate, anti-government type who blame his/her problems on an enforcement element of the society they live within, instead of blaming their own lack or short comings and trying to take personal actions to improve themselves so as to no longer have such feelings of inadequacy.

    Don’t accuse police of “eating doughnuts” and “sticking guns in peoples faces”, those are antiquities and out of fashion now days. Now it is more accurate to accuse us of wanting to “taser you tell your eyes light up” or “only eating where COP discounts are offered”, which while not as quick ‘witted’ or easy to pull off in a jestful moment, they do reflect a more realistic image now days. Doughnuts? Please, when was the last time a doughnut shop offered a COP a discount for anything but the coffee, get real. Subway, Quizno’s, Slotzskis now there are some places you’ll find a few patrol cars in this town. Oh, but that is boring right?

    As for the original topic however, I only saw one person mention the reality of the situation, and personally I would have arrested the man as well, as by law I would have had no chance. Mind you, what is not mentioned is how he was arrested….. Most likely and what I have seen before. The offending company filed a complaint about their signs being missing, the first response of police was “they were illegal signs by city ordinance, so he was just picking up trash.” At which time a smart small business man will concede and go over to the code enforcement office of the city, usually located close to the city tax/treasure office, pay the fine for each offending sign. Then walk back to the Police station and show they have paid restitution for the violation of City code, at which time they have an official document showing the signs to be their private property and not trash. And then they file a complaint of theft of private property, relating the phone call they received by the now accused subject. Police have to follow up on such complaint and call the subject in, who is told a complaint has been made against him relating to the signs, when he opens his mouth to say “yea I removed them” he is told to remain silent, the cop rolls his eyes and explains his Miranda rights to him, then tells him to get a lawyer and let the judge handle it, because it is a stupid use of the system, but there is nothing that can be done to help him by the police. And at that point in time, he has been arrested and charges have been filed, he hasn’t been charged tell the D.A. takes up the filed charges.

    The city is happy because it got its fine money; the illegal advertiser gets to stick a finger in the eye of the guy who got pissed by the signs. And the COPS go to lunch and tell local state trooper “I wish I had your job” which of course they wouldn’t want, but don’t even know it, because that relates even more irrational and illiterately applied use of law and codes.

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