'Hollyweed' Prankster Elusive as Stunt Inspires More Security

Hollywood Sign Trust worries future trespassers will injure themselves
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2017 8:03 AM CST
The Hollywood sign is seen vandalized Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – The nonprofit that cares for the Hollywood sign says it will be "deploying additional technology to tighten up surveillance" after the sign was altered to read "Hollyweed" on Sunday. The black and white tarps that transformed the sign had been removed by mid-morning on New Year's Day with no damage to the letters, prompting police to abandon a search for a suspect. But the Hollywood Sign Trust says it will adopt new measures to "deter unwanted visitors in the future," reports the Hollywood Reporter. These could include updates to the existing security camera system, which recorded a "lone individual" dressed in black hanging tarps from the letters around 3am Sunday, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Such an incident "shows us where there are opportunities to make improvements," says the trust's chairman, adding the group will work with police to discover the weak link in its security. "Our concern is the safety of the neighborhood and the trespassers that put themselves at risk because it is extremely unsafe to be on the sign," which a student also altered to read "Hollyweed" in 1976 as part of an art project. The existing security system includes 35 cameras that watch the sign and hillside. The area is also protected by a wrought-iron fence and a police officer in a guard house, which is manned at all hours. The Times notes rain and clouds may have provided concealment for Sunday's trespasser. (Read more Hollywood sign stories.)

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