Avon Lake man accused of stealing 500+ signs

(Photo courtesy: Avon Lake police)

AVON LAKE, Ohio– An Avon Lake man told police he took more than 500 signs because he felt they were a distraction to drivers.

The Avon Lake Police  Department received numerous complaints about signs being removed from tree lawns over the past several months. Some signs had been posted illegally, but a majority were there with proper approval.

Police said they reviewed video of a man stealing a sign and identified the suspect as 62-year-old John Hoelzl. He admitted taking them because he thought they were distracting motorists, according to Avon Lake police.

More than 500 road signs, valued at $5,500, were recovered from his home.

Hoelzl was charged with one count of receiving stolen property. He was released on $1,000 bond and is set to appear in court on June 29.