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City Cracks Down On Tacking Illegal Signs On Utility Poles

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.

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."

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(Credit: Mike Denardo)

They are also illegal.

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.

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.

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