Los Angelenos woke up on New Year’s Day to discover that the landscape had changed – the Hollywood sign had been vandalized and changed to “Hollyweed.” A prankster braved the pouring rain and wind to climb the famous site at midnight and make the modifications. California authorities said in a statement that they are investigating the matter, but they do not have a suspect at the moment. Talking to local media, Sgt. Guy Juneau, of the LAPD’s Security Services division, said he believes that only one person committed the crime.
Juneau went on to reveal that the individual built a latter and used it to access the sign. The criminal cleverly hung tarpaulins over the giant Os to change them to Es. If the person is ever apprehended, he will be charged with trespassing. The incident was caught on security camera footage minutes after 12 AM, but because it was dark and it was raining, it is impossible to see the person’s face.
According to Juneau, it was the figure of a male, who probably was seeking thrills. The “Hollyweed” sign was visible until 11 AM – which is when workers removed the tarps and restored the word Hollywood. The prankster, who must be a marijuana aficionado, changed the sign in celebration of the decision taken by voters on Election Day. On November 8, residents in the Golden State voted to legalize recreational weed for those over the age of 21.
On social media, the man behind the prank is being applauded, and the authorities are being mocked for sleeping on the job and letting him get away. Officials are trying to defend themselves by blaming the silly scandal on failed sensors. Juneau added: “There are sensors at the sign that trigger an alarm for police, but because the sensors are only in certain areas of the letters, it’s possible to avoid them.”
Estevan Montemayor, a spokesman for Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the Hollywood sign, said park rangers will now work harder to protect the iconic landmark and make sure it remains clean.
Over the years the Hollywood sign has been vandalized numerous times. In 1976, someone changed it so it could read – you guessed it “Hollyweed.” The person has never been caught.