The iconic ‘Rockport Strong’ handmade sign stolen, community wants it back

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 21:30:10-04

A sign that brought hope to the Rockport community after Hurricane Harvey has gone missing.

The sign read “Rockport Strong” and was located outside Rowdy Maui’s shop.

The store owners say whoever took their sign didn’t just steal from their shop, but the entire Rockport community.

"My brother and dad just found a can of spray paint in the back of our storage shed and just spray painted Rockport Strong," says Rowdy Maui coowner Kacie Mahlmann.

What might have been an old wooden sign, became a symbol of hope to a community devastated by Hurrican Harvey.

"That was one of the first things we saw online after the hurricane, so it was a great reminder that we were coming back and we needed to be strong,” says local business owner Marsha Reid.

"The amount of people that stopped to take photos and talk to us just because of that sign was unbelievable," says Mahlmann.

The sign was also a daily reminder to Rowdy Maui co-owner Kacie Mahlmann.

"After Harvy it’s been really hard, not only from just our damages and our inventory loss but we don’t have income coming in as much," says Mahlmann. 

To keep moving forward.

"But every day when we drove up to the shop and see that sign, and was like okay, we’ve got this," says Mahlmann. 

Now their sign is missing. Mahlmann says someone went out of their way to take their sign.

"Definitely was screwed in with 12 screws, with a specific drill, and you had to have some sort of ladder or step stool,” says Mahlmann.

The shop has received tips of a man moving their picnic tables to use as a ladder.

Since the thief cannot sell or put the sign on display, Mahlmann has a suggestion.

"If you really want a Rockport strong sign that badly, I will happily paint you one in whatever color you want for free," says Mahlmann.

Anything to have their priceless sign back where it belongs.

"We need that back, that belongs downtown on Rowdy Maui’s building," says Reid.