80-year-old sign stolen from home near Camelback Mountain

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 21 at 6:59 PM

Map: El Oeste Lodge sign stolen

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PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said someone stole a sign that a neighborhood considers a historic landmark.

The tin sign has red lettering that reads "El Oeste Lodge." It was taken from a home near Camelback Road and 56h Street sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, according to police spokesman Officer James Holmes.

The residence was built in 1924 and was one of the first in the Camelback Mountain area. It is believed that many celebrities once stayed at the lodge.

Police said the 91-year-old homeowner takes great pride in the residence and its history.

The 20-by-24-inch sign is approximately 80 years old, sports several bullet holes and used to hang by an ornate rock pillar. According to the owner, the sign had a lot of character.

"It's just so much a part of this neighborhood that to have it gone is like it takes the character away from it in many ways," said Mary Staymates, who is known as M.J.

She has owned the home for 21 years and can't understand why someone would take the sign.

"It's very upsetting to me," Staymates said. "I don't care why they took it or who took it, I just want it back."

Holmes said the community around her is coming together to replace the sign.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or Phoenix Police Crime Stop at 602-262-6151.

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