A Polk City man makes his mission to remove illegal bandit signs that blanket his street and community. Littered close to street signs, these custom signs tend to be an eyesore that shouts messages like “JUNK CARS” and advertise lawyers. This type of advertising is not legal and not heavily enforced.
Mark Laniner decided to take a stand and began to pluck all bandit signs in his community. He described it as invigorating and felt a jolt by the excitement and the weight of a new burden. He knew he was up to a challenge and felt a rush in the event he was confronted by the people who originally placed these signs.
These roadside ads are sometimes referred to as snipe or bandit ads. They are typically printed on rigid, corrugated plastic and placed on public land in violation of city and county codes.
This may not be a new problem but some businesses are turning to this alternative to find new ways to reach customers during tough economic times. The same economy took a toll on the County Code Enforcement who is responsible for regulating bandit signs. They have been forced to downsize and lost eight team members within the past five years.
If caught these businesses could potentially be charged with a $250 fine for placing one of these signs. Mark Lainer has already picked up close to 700 signs, which is equivalent to 13% of all signs collected in the area all year.