For some teenage tourists, their check list of souvenirs includes not only seashells and tie-dyed T-shirts, but road signs.
Apparently, these young folks were even more zealous this year as almost 150 street signs were taken during the traditional high school and college weeks, mostly in the Cherry Grove section.
“We lose about 60 or 70 signs to theft citywide each year,’’ said city spokesman Pat Dowling. “This year in the first two weeks of June, about 148 signs were stolen, about two-thirds of them in Cherry Grove.’’
Dowling added, “Sign theft usually occurs in June when college and high school kids are in town in large numbers. The theft in Cherry Grove was large and unusual in scope, and police are investigating the incident(s).’’
What likely makes the signs appealing is that they not only list the street address, but the beach section of Cherry Grove, Ocean Drive, Windy Hill or Crescent Beach.
“It reminds people of the fact that four towns came together to incorporate as the city of North Myrtle Beach. Residents like it and visitors _ 70 percent or more of whom are repeat visitors _ like it as well. They tend to visit the same section year after year.’’
Dowling said the city has made replacements and they will be in place the week after this one, the Fourth of July holiday week.
The originals are probably hanging in someone’s bedroom or garage.