East St. Louis man offers reward for stolen beer sign

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Thieves have been targeting large vintage beer signs in East St. Louis. Their owner is offering a reward for the return of one of his signs.

These are no petty crimes. The signs are worth a lot more than you may think.

Someone stole Bey Miller-Bey’s large Old Style sign and just tried to steal a Budweiser sign.

“Somebody wanted it real bad. They probably got it displayed somewhere. Whoever it is, thinks they got away with something,” he said.

Miller-Bey owns the former liquor at 6th and Broadway. He’s offering $200 for the return of the Old Style sign.

It still worked after hanging there for more than 40 years, Miller-Bey said. Whoever stole the large, lighted Old Style sign left the bottom portion.

A witness passing by saw two men taking it down in September.

“He said they had a truck and they were standing up on the cab of the truck … it was about three in the morning. He said he stopped and asked them what were they doing. He said, ‘We’re taking down the sign. We’ve got permission from the owner,’ which was a lie, because I wouldn’t tell anybody they could have my signs. I wouldn’t sell them at all,” Miller-Bey said.

Someone tried to steal his Budweiser sign this week.

The signs cost about $300 each when they came out decades ago. Now they're worth five times that, perhaps more. They are centerpieces of his plans for the property, which is now just a parking lot for the late night crowd at the nearby clubs.

In the next two years, those signs will again shine at the reopened liquor store and a new barbershop, Miller-Bey said.

“There is a reward. I’m hoping someone will come forward and give me some good information that leads me to my sign,” he said.

A post on Miller-Bey's Facebook page has more information about the reward.

East St. Louis police are investigating the matter.