Solar panel stolen from speed sign

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Drivers on Verda Lane NE may have noticed a black space this week.

During the summer, two electronic speed signs were installed in Keizer. One was put on Verda Lane just north of the Salem Parkway, while the other was put up on Lockhaven Drive NE across from Countryside Christian Church.

“Keizer is now a victim of theft,” Capt. Jeff Kuhns with the Keizer Police Department said Wednesday afternoon. “The solar panel that operates the sign was stolen from the one on Verda.”

Kuhns said it wasn’t immediately known when the theft took place.

“Someone or someones went up the pole, cut the wires and unmounted the solar panel,” Kuhns said. “We believe it occurred over the weekend.”

According to Kuhns, Sgt. Trevor Wenning noticed the sign wasn’t working last weekend. Wenning and Keizer Public Works staff went out Tuesday to investigate.

“When he looked closer along with public works to diagnose the problem, they diagnosed the problem as a missing solar panel,” Kuhns said. “I guess we will have to figure out a way to make it more theft proof. It was the furthest thing from my mind. For someone to steal a solar panel is the last thing I thought would happen.”

Kuhns said the preliminary cost for replacing the panel is $2,000. He doesn’t know when replacement will be done.

“We can’t speculate as to why this happened,” he said.

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