Four markers recognizing war heroes that Richland's original streets were named for were stolen this past weekend.
After Richland police received reports Sunday that two markers were stolen, two more nearby markers were found to be missing.
The "In Honor Of" Historic Street Project, sponsored by Richland's AMVETS Post 397, has placed 102 markers since December, said Karen Miles, the project manager.
One of the four stolen from homes on Wright Avenue was the first marker the group placed, Miles said. That marker was in honor of Tinkle Street's namesake, Lt. Otto Spaulding Tinkel, a World War I-era veteran whose 1934 death from a fractured skull in New York City remains an unsolved mystery.
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Although Miles is angry about the theft, she said having the first of the markers stolen upsets her the most.
Each marker was paid for by donations from the community, including veterans, and cost about $300, including materials and labor, she said.
The Army Corps of Engineers and Manhattan Project District named 120 streets in the town they built to support the Hanford site for veterans from wars throughout American history.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7952, Richland's Planning & Redevelopment department, the Army Corps of Engineers and community residents have helped with the project.
The markers are 4 feet tall with a brown base and tan lettering to look like other state or national historic markers. Each one gives the name of the street, the name of the veteran for which it is named, the birth and death years of the veteran, what military branch and war in which he served, and a description of his service.
The only thing left of the four markers that were stolen was the post and the American flag the group had placed for Memorial Day through July Fourth Miles said.
Miles said she hopes to have the markers returned undamaged. Replacing the markers will take away from the money the group intended to use to finish placing the remaining 50 markers on Richland streets.
"We want the signs," she said.
Richland Police Cpl. Hyrum Stohel said police so far do not have any information about suspects.
"I can't imagine why anybody would take the signs," he said.
Police are investigating, and would appreciate anyone with information related to the theft to call the nonemergency dispatch line at 628-0333.