News Release

National Park Service Seeks Recovery of Stolen Road Signs

A stolen sign location
Location of one of several stolen road signs


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News Release Date: June 21, 2021

Contact: Christopher Derman, 423-569-9778

On June 16, 2021 Big South Fork NRRA employees discovered the theft of five large trail signs from the Blue Heron Overlook Road area. Informational signs, such as the ones stolen, direct visitors to popular points of interest and negatively impact visitor experience when removed.

"These signs are critical in providing important directional information in an area where cell reception is often unreliable," said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “Visitors depend on these signs for ensuring a safe and enjoyable park experience. Anyone with knowledge of the signs’ location is asked to return them to the Park Headquarters Building, no questions asked.”

These signs are valued at more than $1000 making this a felony level violation of 18 USC 641, and the park is reaching out to the community to assist us in finding the person or people responsible for this crime and to have them returned. Visitors are reminded that whoever receives, conceals, or retains the stolen property can also be charged alongside the individual who took the signs.

Park Rangers have recovered fingerprints that were left at the scene of the crime, as well as video footage from the area. Anyone with information concerning these incidents is encouraged to contact the NPS at 423-223-4330, or leave a confidential message on the Resource Protection Tip Line at 423-569-7301. The 24-hour tip line allows callers to remain anonymous.

Last updated: June 21, 2021

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