Perennial Violators

Listed below are some of the really bad repeat offenders in Baltimore County with a link to additional information about their identity, business, etc and efforts being taken (beside continual removal) to stop them. Some are stories of success. Some tell of multi-year efforts to get compliance, with only limited help from Code Enforcement. Our struggle, while learning from these cases, is trying to figure out how to help the County to be more efficient in enforcement. Lately, things seem to be getting better.

SINGLE?

Alert!
10-15 years ago, these signs went up every week at many intersections around Baltimore (and the whole country). There were usually a dozen lined up leading to an intersection, so it was easy to remove a lot in a short time. Each had, besides the simple "Single?", a website such as PerryHallDating.COM. While there were hundreds of different websites, they all were the same design and lead to the same place. Various people tried to track down the culprit. A responsible party from Glen Burnie was actually tracked down and "invited" to a Code Enforcdement hearing in January 2006. After that, they seemed to stop.

More info on perpetrators --->


We Buy Houses

Of course, this is the granddaddy of them all. Who has not seen "We Buy Houses" and many variations stuck all over the place? "We Buy Houses" is the generic term used to encompass all illegal "snipe" signs. They seem to pop up overnight like dandelions, but are much more obnoxious than dandelions. And like other weeds, they get plucked rather quickly by those of us who do not like them. In fact, I get as much pleasure pulling illegal signs as I do pulling weeds. Something therapeutic about it. Part of the good feeling comes from knowing that these are all scams and that each destroyed sign might be just the one that would have otherwise gotten some poor unsuspecting person to fall for the scam.

More info on perpetrators --->


$20,000 Grants

Busted!
These signs repeatedly go up all around the County, always strapped to street signs, just before the perpetrator holds "seminars" which are really intended to sell his business. He even cuts off the extra nylon strap and drops it on the ground. He was using County libraries for his seminars, claiming that his company is a non-profit, which it is not so that he gets a reduced rate for the room ($30 instead of $100). The library has been contacted to ask that they stop renting to him as a non-profit, which they have done.)

More info on perpetrator --->


Aeration and Seeding

When a whole lot of these signs were appearing all over the place back in 2011, I looked up the company, found out who the owner was, where he lived, and where the business was located. I filed a detailed complaint letter with all the information. CE opened two cases, one for his residence and one for the business location (which he did not appear to actually be using), each identified only as "illegal signs". A different inspector was assigned to each case, each of whom apparently never read the letter, went to the assigned address based on the instruction "illegal signs", found no signs, and closed their case. There may have been some sort of verbal warning, as the signs stopped for several years. Recently they have begun to reappear.

More info on perpetrator --->


Asia Massage

Busted! (4 times)
This has been one of the most frustrating and lengthy battles to get compliance, and it still goes on. It began some years ago when this new business put up signs around the edge of Perring Plaza where their first store was located. The signs quickly proliferated to every weekend at many intersection from Perry Hall to Towson. A second store was opened at the corner of Philadelphia Rd and Rossville Blvd, with another bunch of signs for it around White Marsh and beyond.

Two new locations have been found where violations continued and further action is underway to bring them in line.

More info on perpetrator --->


Ashley Furniture

Busted!
This has been one of the ugliest cases I have dealt with. It dragged on for 5 years, and took 2 Code Enforcement hearings, and multiple complaints before there was even a hint of compliance. During this time there were hundreds of signs put up on roadsides all around the area including dozens in front of this business, non-permitted banners on the property itself, people standing in roadways holding large signs, and cars driving around area roads with giant, obviously dangerous sign fastened to the top. These were nearly weekly "warehouse liquidation" or "inventory elimination" sales. There were also illegal signs put up by several other tenants of this same property. The case included threats and a drive-by shooting at my house.

More info on perpetrator --->


Cash for Cars

Busted!
Back in 2010-2013, two individuals were putting up hundreds of the "Cash for Cars" signs around Parkville. They were both dragged into Code Enforcement hearings after the inspector called the numbers on the signs as a sting to positively determine who was behind them. With a hearing scheduled on a Tuesday, the first of these put up a hundred more signs along Joppa Rd on Saturday. I removed them all and testified at the hearing. A $6,000 fine was levied. However, although the violator was sitting before the judge and identified in his Order, the fine, and eventually a lien, was against the owner of the property in Essex which the violator leased for his service garage. None of these signs were ever seen on that property - just everywhere else around the County. The signs stopped.

The second was a similar case. The citation was against the owner of the property where the violator rented an apartment and a $5,000 fine resulted. But in this case, there were violations right in front of that property. The signs stopped, but recently found signs suggest that this violator is back. If so, he will be caught again.

Of course, there are other ones that occasionally crop up, which may be the same ones with new phone numbers. We're hot on their trail (and tail).

More info on perpetrator #1 ---> More info on perpetrator #2 ---> And a bonus - a new perpetrator --->

College Hunks (Trash collectors)

Busted!
These signs go up randomly a few every week. The company doing it operates out of Timonium. The signs are quickly removed. Since 2011, this company has been owned by 1-800-GOT-JUNK, another nasty polluter of our roadways!

More info on perpetrator --->


Discount Junk Removal

Busted!
These signs, and the previous "Free Metal Removal" by Jeremy, had been going up at random around the County for several years. While they quickly disappeared, they were a real nuisance. Many were placed at Interstate exits. We knew exactly who was doing it, we got him into a hearing.

More info on perpetrator --->


Fitness 19

Busted!

For several years, this business has been putting signs at intersections around the Parkville and Towson area. There would be just a couple every weekend, which I quickly removed. Finally getting tired of this, I filed a complaint and, although there is no record of any specific action being taken, the signs stopped appearing for several months, so there must have been a verbal warning. In early 2017 a few reappeared, this time in the form of magnetic signs stuck on metal poles. A new complaint was filed, and the official data says "no violation" but the specific sign I complained about disappeared. Therefore, I don't know if the problem was really corrected (again).

More info on perpetrator --->


GNC

These store have a semi-annual sale when they put out hundreds of signs all around the perimeter of the shopping center they are located in, even if the signs are on someone else's property. I have found two very bad polluters: GNC at North Plaza Mall and Yorktowne Plaza.

More info on perpetrator --->


Gutter Guys

Busted!
These guys have been putting up these signs for years. Many years ago, I got CE to send an inspector to their location at 7120 Golden Ring Rd and warn them. For a while, the signs stopped but, as usually happens when a serious fine was not handed out, they eventually come back.

More info on perpetrator --->


i-9 Sports

Busted!
Some might think this is one of the many rec&parks organizations in the county, but it is a purely commercial enterprise. It is a franchise, with there previously being two franchisees in the County, one on the east side and one in the Pikesville area. The owner of each has been warned to stop putting up these signs. Following legal action taken in Harford County against the one on the east side, their signs in Baltimore County seemed to have stopped. In fact, when checking the i-9 Sports website, this franchisee is no longer listed as active. There are no longer any programs in the Baltimore area.

More info on perpetrators --->


Jim (and Bob) Buys Houses

Busted (partially)!
These signs have appeared by the hundreds all over the county (and we hear, much more in AA County). They are made to appear to be hand-written, but all are the same - printed out with just the "Jim" or "Bob" being different!

More info on perpetrators --->


Mattress Warehouse

Busted
Mattress Warehouse is one of the worst offenders of the Sign Code, all around the state - both with on-premise and off-premise signage.

More info on perpetrator --->


Need a Website

Every so often, a slew of these signs (foam board, not Coroplast) appear, mostly along Belair Rd.

More info on perpetrator --->


Restore Your Credit Score

These signs appear about every other week on many places along Philadelphia Rd and others in the White Marsh/Perry Hall area. They are either on the ground in the right-of-way or strapped to poles. We all know that there is no legal way to repair your credit once you've trashed it, except to stop doing the things that caused it to be trashed. Getting convicted in court for putting up these signs probably won't help!

More info on perpetrator --->


Elder Care - Just Caring Hands Home Health Services

Busted!

These just started appearing on Joppa Rd in late Oct 2017 and they are advertising on Facebook and Craigslist for someone to put them up "weekly".

More info on perpetrator --->


Elder Care - actually Easy Property Solutions

Busted!

Since the action against Just Caring Hands (above), these slightly modified signs with a new phone number started appearing. But they turned out to be a real estate scammer.

More info on perpetrator --->


Melinda's Haunted Woods

Busted!

Melinds'a Haunted Woods is held every year in Reisterstown and claims to benefit a charity. Every October they put up hundreds of signs around the County, from Reisterstown to Perry Hall, Arbutus, White Marsh, and Catonsville. In spite of multiple warning letters, they continue to do it.

More info on perpetrator --->


Huntington Learning Center

This local company places signs in front of schools and the local library. They have been warned multiple times. Next comes a citation and fine.

More info on perpetrator --->


Fishing and Crabbing Charters

These hand-written signs have appeared randomly for years. During the proper season, they specifically advertise "Rock Fish".

More info on perpetrator --->


Mattresses

These signs have been routinely appearing around the county for several years. They are hand-written so as to look like something that a local resident might put out - akin to a garage sale sign. But they lead to a commercial business.

More info on perpetrator --->


We Buy Diabetic Test Strips

These signs randomly appear on poles around Baltimore. This surely is an insurance fraud.

More info on perpetrator --->


Real Estate Investor Seeks Students

202-793-8577 These signs appear every once in a while around Baltimore County. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is for students to put up "We Buy Houses" signs. See this Flickr page from DC.

Actually, the Cutco cutlery company is behind these and others.

More info on perpetrator --->


Senior Apts

These randomly go up around Baltimore County. The phone number leads to Park View at Rosedale, 1315 Chesaco Ave. They have been sent a warning e-mail. Next time will be a formal complaint.


Sage Homes

Busted!
This was the first case of home builder signs that a complaint was filed for under the new procedure, so I was pleased to see that Code Enforcment did issue a citation for a hearing on Jan 10, 2018.

More info on perpetrator --->


CalAtlantic

Busted!
A complaint was filed for this home builder on Jan 2, 2018 a citation was issued and a hearing was held Jan 24. The violator got a good lecture.

More info on perpetrator --->


Beazer Homes

Busted!
A complaint was filed for this home builder on February 3, 2018 a citation was issued the same day, and a hearing was held on February 28. A representative of the company claimed to not know that these signs were illegal. After a good lecture he understood. They have to pay a $500 fine with another $3,500 hanging over their heads in case of further violations, which has already happened.

More info on perpetrator --->


House Washing $199

These have appeared periodically around the County.

More info on perpetrator --->


Students from Spain

Every spring, around May, these signs appear around the County. As the Summer nears, the message gets more desperate, as if some poor "students" are going to be sleeping on the streets. Note the preprinted "form" sign so they can just fill in the dates and phone number. This is indicative of a wide area scam, in which some local is gotten to fill in and put up these signs in each area.

More info on perpetrator --->


Spa and Hot Tub Sale

These appear regularly, maybe twice per year, mostly along York Road leading to the fairgrounds where it is held, or sometimes at other Beltway exit ramps. This is a part of a much bigger problem - exhibitions at the fairgrounds advertising in this way. The owners of the fairgrounds need to get a huge fine to put an end to this!


Others we're watching


If any of these are yours, stop putting them around the County or you, too, will soon get a citation and a fine!


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Updated 11 Nov 2019 by MAP