A story about local issues in Central California and a street sign that keeps getting vandalized.
The background here is that Fresno County and Central California are home to a large and historic Punjabi Sikh population.
This is the story of how a simple street sign divided neighbors, rallied the local Punjabi community, and prompted Fresno County officials to research the pros and cons of hidden tracking devices.
It all started several years ago in a small, well-to-do neighborhood northeast of Clovis. Someone kept stealing the street signs for Punjab Avenue, one of three streets in the housing development. Over the past seven years, they’ve been unscrewed or hacked off about 10 times.
No one knows why. Once, a neighbor saw a couple of teenagers in a pickup pull up, pop the signs off the top of a pole, and speed off. But the culprit — or culprits — has never been caught.
Some people think it’s a prank — or that people just like to collect street signs with unusual names. Whatever the reason, it’s costing the residents up to $200 for each replacement.
Jeff Davis, who lives in one of the nine houses on the street, proposed a solution: Change the street name to Sierra Hills Avenue. Maybe that would put an end to the thefts.