Broad River VFD Smokey Bear fire danger sign stolen

Someone stole the Broad River Volunteer Fire Department's Smokey Bear fire sign and the group is offering a reward for information (Courtesy: Broad River VFD)

The Broad River Volunteer Fire Department is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for stealing the department’s Smokey Bear fire danger sign.

Assistant Chief Bruce Cook says someone used battery-operated power tools to cut the bolts and take the sign between 7 pm Friday night and 8 am Saturday morning.

They left the post.

“I don’t know why people steal road signs and stop signs. It’s just petty vandalism," said Cook. "It just goes beyond me."

Cook says the sign went up seven years ago and was the result of fundraising work of the fire department’s auxiliary group.

He says with materials and labor, it cost about $1500.

Cook says this is the first time anything has ever happened to the sign.

“We were thinking someone was going to shoot it when we put it up, but we haven’t had any problems with it,” he said.

Cook says a number of community members have stepped forward offering a reward.

It started at $250, then grew to $350.

By 11 am, it had climbed to $600.

A series of posts from the group’s Facebook page have been updating the total.

“It’s about more than just the cost of the sign. It’s the fact someone would even do something like that and knowing how hard our ladies worked to give it not just to the department but something that benefits our community,” one of the posts reads.

If you have any information, call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office or someone at the fire department.

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