Alleged Ophir sign-stealer arrested, marker destroyed

Sign could be replaced with non-brass version
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Law enforcement arrested the man that allegedly stole the Ophir state historical marker, and found the sign badly defaced, Tuesday, according to a release by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Anthony James Karas, 47, of Lincoln was arrested on charges of grand theft and possession of stolen property. Detectives said the plaque formerly located at Lozanos Road and Bald Hill Road in Auburn, was found cut-up and ground-down. It is valued at $951, according to decetives. Deputies found the destroyed marker dumped off of Fiddyment Road and were able to trace it back to Karas. The original theft occurred in January. Michael Otten, president of the Placer County Historical Society, said historical signs have been the target of recent metal thefts. “I think it’s great because it’s become a serious problem, not only here in Auburn and Placer County, but throughout the state,” Otten said. He said he was disappointed to learn the sign had been destroyed, but the historical society was working with Placer County Museums and the State Office of Historic Preservation to put a new sign up. “I was afraid this would happen. We were hoping we could get it back intact,” Otten said. He said the society is considering alternatives to brass signs. “One of the things we are looking at is non-brass plaques to put up,” Otten said. “It’s a continuing problem, and wherever we have plaques, we are taking a new look at them and seeing what we can do to make them more theft-proof.” ~Sara Seyydin Reach Sara Seyydin at