DOT replaces stolen ‘Little Guyana Avenue’ sign in Richmond Hill

Little Guyana Avenue
The unveiling of the Little Guyana Avenue street sign in Richmond Hill on June 27, 2021. (Photo courtesy of City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams)

The city Department of Transportation (DOT) on Thursday installed a new ‘Little Guyana Avenue’ sign on the intersection of Lefferts Boulevard and Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, after speaking with Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar

Rajkumar thanked Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and the DOT team for quickly replacing the sign. 

The sign was reported stolen on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at approximately 7 p.m., according to police. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing, police said. 

In a Facebook post, the Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol (COPCP) said they’re thankful for the vigilant community members who recorded the incident and gave descriptions. In a separate post, a community member shared that sources said three men fled the scene in a black SUV. 

The Little Guyana Avenue sign was unveiled in June 2021 recognizing the achievements, contributions and sacrifices of the Guyanese community in Richmond Hill and beyond. 

Rajkumar, along with state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., Councilwoman Joann Ariola, District 31 Leader Richard David and the COPCP condemned the theft of the sign. 

“The beautiful stretch of Liberty Avenue known as Little Guyana is a source of pride for everyone in south Queens,” Rajkumar said. “We were filled with that pride when we came together as a community for the street co-naming ceremony to unveil the sign. For all those appalled at the loss of the sign, know this: No one can ever take away our pride and joy in Little Guyana. I thank the 106th Precinct for investigating this matter.” 

Addabbo said he is thankful to be working with the DOT to quickly replace the sign. 

“It is a shame and unacceptable to see that someone would go through the trouble of climbing the street pole just to steal the ‘Little Guyana Avenue’ sign at the intersection of Lefferts Boulevard and Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill,” Addabbo said. “This criminal may believe that this was a victimless crime, and while no one was physically injured, it does hurt the sense of pride our Guyanese neighbors feel for their community.” 

In response to the incident, Ariola tweeted, “The brazen, broad daylight theft of the Little Guyana sign from the corner of Liberty Ave & Lefferts Blvd is another example of the kind of vandalism and crime that we are experiencing as a city.” 

Loycent Gordon, owner of Neirs Tavern in Woodhaven, tweeted, “Come one y’all. Knock it off! We have to do better! Don’t disrespect our immigrant communities. We are Queens. The World’s Borough. We’re better than this.” 

According to David, they will work with the DOT to see if the sign can be made available to order online, so people can have a copy without needing to steal it.

City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams expressed outrage saying she is “disheartened” and will work to install a new sign.

District Leader Albert Baldeo said they’re “angry and dismayed” that the beloved Little Guyana Avenue sign was stolen.

“Our community achieved the co-naming of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard last year to honor the legacy, blood, sweat and tears of our vibrant Guyanese community in the USA for decades-long from nothing,” Baldeo said. “Most of us did several jobs to make this happen. We built Little Guyana brick by brick, stone by stone indelibly on the political, economic and national landscape. This vile act will not lower our achievements, nor our pride and resolve! We will install a new sign.”

Anyone with information on this incident can contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential.