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The case of the missing letters

The decorative metal sign alongside Highway 8 welcoming motorists to the city of Cornelius has again fallen prey to vandals. Several letters from the high-profile sign between Hillsboro and Cornelius that promotes “Oregon’s family town” were recently stolen, apparently at random. by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - The attractive roadside marker that welcomes visitors to the city of Cornelius has been vandalized. A thief or thieves recently pried several of the metal letters from the sign.

“The entrance sign was a victim of another vandalism,” said Cornelius City Manager Rob Drake. “We will repair it soon.”

The large “Welcome to the city of Cornelius” marker is at the city limits on the east side of Cornelius.

“I think the letters have been pried off,” said Cornelius Public Works Director Mark Crowell. “Each letter has a couple metal studs behind it. Those studs are epoxied into holes drilled into the block or concrete wall. It takes some doing, but they can come out.”

The letters removed from the sign were the O, R, E, G, W and N.

Crowell said the city uses sheet metal for the letters, which can be replaced relatively inexpensively. He estimated the repairs would cost approximately $200.

Drake pointed out that this is not the first time the sign has been vandalized.

“This happens every two or three years, and the vandalism involves stealing letters,” explained Drake.

The city’s welcome sign was completed in the fall of 2001.

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