Since mid-June the police have counted 291 missing road signs around the West Suffolk area and the figure is expected to rise as more are reported to have disappeared.
Signs along either side of the A14, near Bury-St-Edmunds, are currently being targeted, causing a huge safety risk for drivers.
Suffolk County Council assistant area highways manager Guy Smith said: “Police have not ruled out that the signs are being stolen to be sold as scrap. It seems that the thieves are after the aluminium signs more than the steel ones as the price of aluminium is almost the same as copper at the moment.
“There are big safety implications because some of them were pointing out sharp bends and other road hazards. There haven’t been any car accidents yet but I’ve heard there have been a lot of near-misses, so it’s only a matter of time.”
It is believed that the public may have noticed the sign stealers taking the road signs but mistaken them for road workers.
Currently, the signs are being replaced with plastic signs on a priority basis, such as those displaying speed reminders and stop messages.
Suffolk Police spokesperson for the Western Area Lisa Crane said: “The police haven’t made any arrests yet. The thefts at first were road work signs but now it has moved on to the big static road signs. All officers in the targeted areas are being made aware of the thefts in their briefings and they have also been liaising with scrap dealers.”
Police are asking the public to remain vigilant.