People Won’t Stop Stealing Old Town Road Street Signs in Massachusetts
By the time Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" broke the Billboard Hot 100 record for most weeks at No. 1, it had long since been clear that the song sent ripple effects through the pop culture world. Unsurprisingly, it's effect has spilled over to the literal world, too.
According to a report the Boston Globe published Thursday afternoon, Old Town Rd. street signs for the Boston-area town of Wellesley have gone missing at different times since the song became a chart-topping hit. Wellesley communications and project manager Stephanie Hawkinson says six signs—which can be found at both ends of the street—have been stolen in the last four months. People have taken the signs with the metal mounts still attached.
While the town has usually replaced the signs, doing so isn't cheap. It costs between $250 and $280 to replace one. They also still have to pay for people to reinstall the signs with the metal mount and all. The signs have yet to be replaced for the latest instance of their theft.
“At this point, no sign is there,” says Hawkinson, who notes the coincidence of "Old Town Road's" rise and the continual stealing of the signs. “We’re holding out hope that the song will become less popular, and the sign will stick around a little longer.”
Hawkinson says the removal of the signs can be dangerous. “We understand it’s a funny prank, but it’s also expensive for the town to replace the sign,” she discloses. “Also, for first responders who rely on GPS, if they’re not familiar with area, it could delay an emergency response.”
In Wellesley, stealing street signs is classified as misdemeanor larceny, and someone who commits the crime could be hit with a fine or a citation.
Read 10 Wild Stories That Took Place During Hip-Hop Tours