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Police ask for return of flashing stop sign before someone gets hurt

The theft of a flashing LED stop sign from a rural T-intersection in Cloquet could have serious consequences, Cloquet police say.

"In other places around the country where someone removes a traffic-control sign there have been accidents and even fatalities," said Derek Randall, commander for administration and investigations with the Cloquet Police Department. "There have been serious repercussions."

The sign, a standard stop sign outlined with flashing LED lights that bring its value to $1,700, disappeared sometime between Oct. 17 and 18, Randall said. It marked the T-intersection of Cartwright and Moorhead roads near the Cloquet Carlton County Airport. The Carlton County engineer notified Cloquet police when the sign's disappearance was discovered, he said.

The county recently had done some road upgrades and changes in the area, Randall said.

"My assumption is that they strategically place those (flashing signs) in areas where they want to make sure people know there's a stop sign," he said.

Police have no leads regarding the theft, Randall said.

"The only thing I can think of is it's probably sitting in someone's garage," he said. "They were not thinking of the significance and the danger if someone missed that stop."

Cloquet police are asking anyone who may have information about the whereabouts of the sign or who may have been responsible for the theft to call them at 218-879-1247.