By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Nutter administration is starting to enforce the laws against posting so-called “bandit signs” onto utility poles on street corners throughout Philadelphia.READ MORE: Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporters Demand He Be Released From Prison For Health Reasons
Some signs read “We Buy Houses,” or “Batteries, $35,” for example.
“These signs are absolutely a nuisance,” Mayor Nutter said. “They are visual blight. They are in many instances even promoting things that we don’t even know if they’re true or right or correct. Some are clearly scams.”
They are also illegal.READ MORE: Lymond Moses' Family Demands New Castle County Police Release Bodycam Video Of Deadly Shooting
Using grants from Verizon and PECO, the city over the summer has used college students to track down hundreds of addresses from phone numbers on the signs.
Brian Abernathy, chief of staff for the managing director, says the Streets Department sent out 20 citations this week, and more are on the way.
“Over the next several weeks, we expect citations and warnings to be issued to hold these folks accountable and to make sure that the issue is addressed long-term,” he said.MORE NEWS: 2 Vacant Buildings Partially Collapse In Logan Section Of Philadelphia
Abernathy says offenders could be fined $75 per sign. Long-term, he says the city’s battle against bandit signs will include an education campaign and a removal program in addition to enforcement.