Columbus renters post creative outdoor message to deter thieves

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 12, 2013 

Renters at one Columbus home say they've been victims of multiple thefts -- and they're voicing their frustration with a sign in public view.

Among other things, it reads, "If you're gonna rob (and) gonna steal everything from me at least cut my grass."

Steve Kelley, 28, and Sasha Hogg, 35, moved into the 1700 Slade Drive home in March. Hogg's 15-year-old son also lives in the home. They say they've been victims of multiple thefts, ranging from electronics to a charcoal grill and lawn furniture that were allegedly stolen from their property last week.

"It just doesn't stop," Kelley said in a Friday interview.

Kelley and Hogg say they've contacted law enforcement and they plan to install extra security features in the home. But in the meantime, they hope the new signs outside the property send a message.

"I hope it might create some awareness, if nothing more," Kelley said.

He created the signs, made mainly with pieces of plywood and spray paint, on Thursday. He and Hogg say drivers in the neighborhood often slow down to get a closer look at the words. "Everybody enjoys it," Hogg said.

Kelley added, "I just hope I didn't cause any fender benders out there," referring to people stopping to get a closer look while driving. Initially, Kelley planned to write a message referencing the grill that was allegedly stolen from their property: "If you're going to steal my grill, at least bring me a plate."

After noticing the status of his lawn, he opted for the current message instead.

Kelley hasn't decided how long he'll leave the signs up, though he's considering keeping the message intact a little longer.

"But then I'm going to hold off on cutting my grass," he said.

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