Looking for a sign: Portland police need help

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PORTLAND — Welcome to Portland?

Not if you’re a motorist driving into the city along the Fore River Parkway to West Commercial Street.

That’s because Portland police are looking for the public’s help finding a 5-by-8-foot “Welcome” sign that was stolen in early December.

Police Sgt. Dale Goodale said the sign was first noticed missing by a Public Services Department employee.

The employee checked into whether the sign was removed for official reasons, and contacted contractors and city department heads, Goodale said.

The employee reported the sign stolen on Dec. 30, 2010.

Goodale said it appears as though someone used a saw to dislodge the 100-pound, hand-painted sign, which is carved from a single piece of wood and valued at $3,500.

“We’re kind of hoping once we get it out and if someone saw it at someone’s house or yard we might get a call,” Goodale said. “It’s hard to believe. It’s an expensive sign.”

Community members may anonymously contact police by text, internet, or phone.

To “Text a Tip” mobile phone users should text the keyword “GOTCHA” plus their message to 274637 (CRIMES).

Community members may also submit tips by going to the Portland Police Department website at www.portland-police.com and clicking “Submit an Anonymous Crime Tip.”

Finally, community members may leave anonymous phone tips on the Crime Tip line by calling 874-8584.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or [email protected]

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Portland police are looking for help finding this 5-by-8-foot sign, which was stolen from the Fore River Parkway and West Commercial Street area in early December.