The Sign Bandit is Back, Begins Guerrilla Enforcement in the Valley
The Sign Bandit struck the length of Ventura Boulevard this weekend
The owner of a building who installed an illegal supergraphic at Hollywood and Highland went to jail over the weekend (and with $1 million set as bail!), but owners of the numerous properties across the city with Fuel poster-sized billboards on site are still in limbo, it appears.
Back in December, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case between the city of Los Angeles and Fuel Outdoor, which installs the signs, usually found on corners at gas stations and mini malls. At issue was a 2002 city off-site sign ban, which meant Fuel signs were in violation. The company challenged the city and lost in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Despite that, signs remain up, infuriating residents and activists alike. Now a "sign bandit," as dubbed by Bob Steinbach, spokesperson for L.A.'s Department of Building and Safety, is going around the city putting up fake notices, complete with a faux city seal, that say the signs are illegal. Back in January, the bandit hit Venice and as of this weekend, in the Valley. Steinbach was not available for immediate comment.
For a real kicker, Fuel also lost a challenge in New York City. When the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the city's favor, the company took down the signs the next day, according to Ban Billboard Blight.