Fort Worth

City of Fort Worth Cracking Down on Bandit Signs Using Sting Operations

You can spot them along the roadway of major intersections through Fort Worth. Signs, illegally posted in the ground, or plastered on poles. Some of the signs are handwritten advertising ways to make quick cash, or "we buy homes" ads.

"We call them 'bandit signs' for the simple fact that they are illegal," said Brandon Bennett who is the Code Compliance Director for the city of Fort Worth.

"You can't post a sign advertising a business in a right-of-way, or off site. Plus the signs are going up because there is money to be had in a lot of these schemes. They are trying to luring residents in and then they are taking their money," said Bennett.

Monday, one volunteer collected more than 100 signs. Last year more than 40,000 were removed and recycled.

"Many times when these signs pile up they create traffic obstructions, litter, and the wires get caught up in our mowing equipment. So they’re a nuisance," said Bennett.

The city of Fort Worth will now enforce a zero police for offenders. One civil or zoning violation is $500, but repeat offenders will have to pay $500 for each sign they post. The city will also begin to use sting operations to track down the people posting the signs.

"A lot of these signs will go up in the middle of the night. So we’ve got our patrol officers looking for suspicious behavior. So there’s nothing better than catching them in the act. There are also times when we will call the number they have posted on the signs. If they want to buy a house, we say 'meet us at the house,'" he said.

These measures cost the city $125,000 to $175,000.

If you see someone putting those bandit signs out, you can report it by calling code enforcement at 817-392-1234.

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