After theft, a sign of anger

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Suffolk business owner Maurice Dennis had this sign made after aluminum and other items were stolen from his property. Each day, he stakes it in the ground beside Godwin Boulevard, bringing it in at night, lest it be stolen as well, he says.

Every morning, Suffolk business owner Maurice Dennis stakes into the ground a sign with a very pointed message.

At the end of every day, he pulls it up from the roadside outside his offices at 4433 Godwin Blvd. and takes it back inside.

The sign reads, with punctuation added for clarity: “Low Life. You stole from the Cub Scouts. ‘AK’ will welcome you back.”

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Dennis said he takes the sign inside because the “lowlife” might add his sign to the two truck-loads of aluminum and the copper wire, generator and floor jack he, she or they have already plundered.

The thefts occurred around Aug. 22 while Dennis was away. He said a shipping container was broken into during the crime.

Thefts of scrap metal are common in and around Suffolk, city spokeswoman Diana Klink wrote in an email.

“Individuals steal scrap metal, copper and aluminum and sell the items to scrap yards,” she wrote, valuing the aluminum stolen from Dennis at $100 and adding that the generator was recovered in a nearby tree line.

While the investigation of the theft against Dennis has stalled, with no leads or suspects, Suffolk Police Department has successfully prosecuted such cases when stolen items could be identified before being crushed at the scrap yard, and when offenders were caught in the act, Klink wrote.

She advised citizens to ensure the security of their items, install security lights, and report to police any suspicious people or neighborhood activity.

Dennis said he had been collecting the aluminum with his grandson over a number of years for a Cub Scout project. “There was a huge pile in the back of the building,” he said.

He said he had the sign made right after the theft occurred, adding, “I was rather disgusted and didn’t know what to do, so I had a sign made and put it up there.

“I put it up every day and take it down at night, because they might just pull the sign up and steal that to.”

Dennis would not comment on what he means by the last line of his sign. Klink wrote, “The police department will speak with the victim regarding the sign that he has posted and discuss any concerns that he may have regarding the incident.”

Dennis said he was quick to contact police after learning of the theft, and is hopeful they can “track the lowlife down.”