Someone swiped the “Welcome to Key West” sign that greeted visitors at the island’s entrance off U.S. 1 and pronounced Key West as Paradise U.S.A.
The welcome sign, an $8,000 gift from a local Rotary Club, was last seen by residents on the ground after it had been presumably knocked down during Hurricane Irma, which struck Sept. 10.
Rotary members said they just want the sign back — no questions asked. Police Chief Donie Lee, by the way, is a member of the Rotary Club but a police report hadn’t been filed as of Thursday, officials said.
“We’re hopeful someone picked it up for safekeeping,” said Nadene Grossman Orr, a member of the Rotary Club behind the sign.
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Theft or safekeeping, it’s time for the sign to be returned, she added.
“We would like to have it back,” Grossman Orr said. “It is definitely missing.”
Meanwhile, a hand-painted sign has been strung up in its place at the busy intersection. It reads, “Welcome to Paradise.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen