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Police looking for pranksters who swapped street signs in North Collins

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Buffalo: Police looking for pranksters who swapped street signs in North Collins
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The Erie County Sheriff's Office is investigating a series of pranks involving street signs in Collins and North Colins. As YNN's Kevin Jolly reports, police say the prank could potentially cause someone to be hurt or even killed.

NORTH COLLINS, N.Y. — "Everyone's saying the same thing; it's dangerous, whoever's doing it needs to stop," said John Panarello.

Panarello drives along Genesee Road practically every day, but now he's got to keep a closer eye on the signs at each intersection because someone has been switching street and stop signs.

“I don't know who's doing it but it's pretty dangerous, because if somebody's used to stopping there and they don't stop because they think there's no stop sign? Could 'cause a big accident," said Panarello.

“About two weeks ago we got a call of switched road signs, just the names of the roads were turned around. Yesterday, we got a call from the highway department saying that stop signs were switched around. Now when you start switching stop signs around, that's when the potential for a dangerous accident getting up there," said Sgt. Greg Kent of the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office say the first incident happened here at the intersection of Genesee and New Oregon Roads. The second incident involving the stop sign happened at the crossroads of Jennings and Shirley Road.

Greg Kent say the confusion could potentially cause a serious injury of even fatal accident.

"In rural areas, most of the roadways that I know, at that one intersection, the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. So when you have a collision at 55 it's the potential for some serious accident injury," said Kent.

Kent says if caught, the pranksters could face a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge, and if anyone is injured they could face felony charges.

Panarello hopes the pranksters are caught.

"Whoever's doing it needs to stop – period. Not funny. It's no joke," said Panarello.

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