ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — “You got to be kidding me, that’s not good,” Darla Smith said.

That was Darla Smith’s reaction when I told her stop signs had been stolen near her house.

Commissioners from St. Joseph, Stanton and Ogden Townships told a Champaign County deputy about the problem.

“They’re taking the stop signs, they’re also taking the poles out of the ground as well,” Curt Apperson said.

Lieutenant Curt Apperson says up to ten signs have been stolen.

Some have been found in a river north of St. Joe. Smith says those signs help the flow of traffic in her area.

“There’s a right of way, but there’s people on the sides if they don’t have a stop sign, they think they can go too,” Smith said.

Worse than that, not having them is dangerous when it’s harvest season.

“Summer months when the corn is up growing high, you can’t see from a distance that somebody is coming perpendicular to you, you can’t see unless, so you do need a stop or slow down, if there’s no stop sign because that’s how people have been killed when the crops are up,” Smith said.

That’s exactly law enforcement’s concern and why they want to get to the bottom these thefts as quickly as possible.

“Is this going to cause an accident, is someone going to get hurt as a result of these people whoever they are stealing these stop signs,” Apperson said.

The sheriff’s office doesn’t have any leads, but will investigate as soon as they get some.

“Stop signs would be there, could possible, maybe save their lives,” Smith said.