By Seth Daniel
All signs are now pointing at mischief and thievery in the disappearance of the custom-made wooden ‘Welcome to Charlestown’ sign that recently vanished from the median strip on Thompson Square.
Many residents who paid for and maintained the sign now fear it could be hanging in a dorm room somewhere in Allston or gracing the living room of a person bent on getting a souvenir from the Town.
Residents of the area began to notice the sign missing just after Thanksgiving and reported it to the City via the 3-1-1 system. It was particularly important as, unlike all of the other ‘Welcome’ signs placed in neighborhoods in the early 2000s, the one in Charlestown was paid for by residents. That was because many residents opted to have a nicer, wooden, hand-carved sign rather than the metal ones used by the City.
For that luxury, it cost donors around $2,000.
Now, after a good deal of investigation, City officials are advising residents to file a police report as they believe it has been stolen.
One resident said she reported the sign missing on Nov. 25, and believed it had simply been taken down during some work that was done there in the summer. The sign program began in the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), and the program no longer exists.
Neighborhood Liaison Chris Breen initially did a full scale search of City Hall for the sign, and came up empty handed.
A community outreach specialist from DND checked into whether it had been struck by an automobile and removed by Public Works or the Police.
Neither did anyone remove it during construction for safekeeping.
After another quick investigation by the Office of Civic Engagement, the City determined that it had been hijacked.
“Apparently it’s gone, so I think we need to put out an All Points Bulletin (APB) to the community,” said the resident.