The 2-by-3-foot sign for a home-based hair salon that recently renewed a neighborhood feud on Pfefferkorn Road in West Friendship is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
Late Friday night, the sign for Robin and Patrice Davidson's salon and a second one with their name and house number that had been installed that afternoon were stolen.
The salon sign, which had violated a zoning provision because it was illuminated by two 75-watt floodlights, prompted at least one neighbor to file a complaint with the Howard County Department of Zoning. After the complaint, the Davidsons erected the residential sign and moved the lights to it so as to comply with zoning rules.
But both signs were torn down, and the Davidsons believe a disgruntled neighbor or a prankster who read about the dispute is to blame.
In addition to the stolen signs, valued at $1,100, two floodlights illuminating the residential sign were smashed and the underground wiring was damaged.
"This was quite obviously a deliberate act. The signs were 25 feet apart. The signs and the posts are missing. And you can tell by the tire tracks that each light was strategically backed over," said Mrs. Davidson. "We have neighbors angry enough [about the hair salon being in the community]. One just cussed me out the other day. But I still have no idea who would do something like this."
There were no witnesses and no physical evidence, but the case is under investigation by Howard County police.
Jane Colson, who has lived in the house next to the Davidson property since 1960 and in the immediate area since 1946, says she doesn't know anyone who would take revenge on the Davidsons, even though many of the neighbors openly oppose the business.
"The neighbors right around here aren't that kind of people. We aren't harassing [the Davidsons]. We just want them to adhere to regulations," Mrs. Colson said.
Pub Date: 3/07/96