Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey man accused of stealing road signs

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 36-year-old unemployed man was arrested Wednesday after deputies found a stash of stop signs, street signs, speed limit signs and traffic barricades in his backyard, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Matthew J. Cook of 4538 Cottonwood Drive is charged with two counts of grand theft of a stop sign and one count of petty theft.

A report says a deputy was dispatched Wednesday to the area of Cottonwood Drive and Horsey Avenue, south of Trouble Creek Road and west of U.S. 19, after a stop sign was reported as missing.

Cook admitted to the thefts, the report states, and planned to sell the metal signs.

"I'm broke, don't have a job and figured I could take the signs for scrap," he told authorities.

Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said Cook took one stop sign and three safety barricades from Grand Boulevard and two stop signs and two speed limit signs from his own street, Cottonwood Drive. The thefts happened late Tuesday night. Doll said people called the Sheriff's Office about the missing signs.

Doll said no one was injured "but the potential is there." He called the thefts "extremely foolhardy." Residents "have been killed before when people remove traffic signs," Doll said.

Cook remained at the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday in lieu of $15,000 bail. Doll said the stop signs have been replaced.

New Port Richey man accused of stealing road signs 12/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Deputies seeking two men in attempted armed home invasion robbery in Seminole


    Detectives are searching for two men they say broke into a home in Seminole Thursday night in an attempted armed robbery.

  3. Forecast: A sunny, dry Memorial Day weekend ahead in Tampa Bay


    Tampa Bay residents can expect to see a sunny, rain-free Memorial Day weekend with clear skies and temperatures hovering in the upper 80s and low 90s.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Man dies in overnight shooting at Largo motel


    Detectives from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred overnight at a motel in Largo.

  5. Florida education news: Sales tax, school buses, a Civil War prop and more


    BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Gov. Rick Scott authorizes a three-day sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping.