Signs of trouble for ‘Justice for Jake’

Sign ordinances being strictly enforced.
Melissa Topey
Oct 3, 2013


Melissa Likes believes in her right to have a “Justice for Jake & Ella” sign.

One has been displayed in her yard on State Street since March. But one day in August, a phone call from her boyfriend interrupted her at work.

“He said the police were at the house and we had to take the sign down, that it violated the city ordinance,” Likes said.

The ordinance says yard signs must be on private property and cannot be placed on a city right-of-way, such as by a road in the boulevard between the sidewalk and the street.

Likes was unaware of the ordinance and was angered, at first. “Why are they doing this?” Likes asked. “Is it because I live by the courthouse?” She moved the sign next to her home.

Fremont police officer Donnale Williams drove by on another day to make sure it had been moved. “He said thank you and said if I had not done that, ‘you would have received a citation,’” Likes said.

She added a second smaller sign about four weeks ago. There have been no more problems. Another Fremont resident also moved her “Justice for Jake & Ella” sign away from the street. “I have lived in Fremont all my life, and I have never known them to focus so much over signs,” said Shari Sabo.

Her stepson’s father-in-law works for the city. He stopped by the family home to warn them to move the sign off the city right-of-way. “If we did not move the sign, the police or city would come and take it,” Sabo said. She also did not know about the sign.    

Both ladies said they believe they know why the signs are getting attention from the city. Likes said more and more of the signs are going up.

“I think they are embarrassed by what they have done,” Likes said. Sabo agreed.

Responding to a public records request from the Register, Fremont police chief Tim Wiersma said the only complaint his department has received about a Justice for Jake sign was for a sign in front of Likes’ home.

“If someone complains, we address it,” Wiersma said.

Most of the people displaying signs have properly placed them, he said.

Wiersma said his department hasn’t made any special effort in response to the signs, which seek to draw attention to a Sandusky County sheriff’s investigation of the March 2012 killing of Jacob Limberios.

“Everyone can express their opinion,” Wiersma said. “(Residents) are welcome to have them in their yards.”

Sandusky County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bruce Hirt also responded to a records request from the Register.

“No reports or documentation exists of any interactions with our officers concerning ‘Justice for Jake & Ella’ signs,” Hirt said in an emailed statement.



if its the city right of way, how come the home ower or tentents have to cut the grass, and shovel snow?


I can see the argument about cutting grass. It is the same for cutting down old trees or planting new ones, but the shoveling thing, you shovel snow out of your boulevard?

Licorice Schtick

The opposition will be silenced.


Well, I live in downtown Sandusky and we cannot even have a garage sale sign in our boulevard. I am pretty sure that it has nothing to do with this case but the fact that it is on the cities property and that it could block someone's view of oncoming traffic if pulling out of a driveway or side street.

indolent indiff...

those ordinances were in place before this started and are enforced in election seasons especially. this is the justice people's fault. Can't wait to read all the its not fair and Sandusky county cheats posts

Bleeding Turnips

People are usually unaware of an ordinance like this because they've generally not put up signs for long periods of time before. It seems to have been properly handled by telling them to move it and not just issuing a citation.


Sure are a lot of people that care about this issue and have Justice for Jake signs. Justice for Jake, the Limberios family and the citizens of Sandusky County.

Truth or Dare

How many signs are out there, and there was a problem with 1, only 1? That's a pretty low %! Let this be a warning to all, make sure your signs are properly displayed! If they can find something they will, remember that! Why? They have no concept of EMBARRASSMENT or evidently SHAME for that matter, except of course the history of embarrassment and shame they seem to be quite willing to inflict upon those they've taken an oath to SERVE AND PROTECT!

Chances are those involved can't afford to show any embarrassment, let alone shame. It would be a sign that Jake and his family were wronged, and in the worst way! SC's history proves that much, with every case prior to this and as they continue to do so with every roadblock they're putting up, of which stops in Columbus! That cob-web runs deep and far!


Sorry, but you are wrong. Lots of cities have this ordinance on the books. I also know FOR A FACT that this is not the only "justice for jake" sign to be ordered to move to private property. I also know that most cities have a law that states you cannot post signs in the blvd, on telephone poles, etc. You can get on your cities website and read most ordinances. Some just don't care to make a big issue of it. They follow the law as it is written.


Heck, it's basic property law - didn't these people ever teach them that you can't put stuff on property that's not your own? It's the same principle that stops the county from putting signs on these people's lawns saying justice was served.


Well said truth or dare


There should be a time limit that signs can stay up


OK!! How about we take them down when Jake and his family receive the justice they deserve?! Sounds good to me!


Browndog, I don't recall the First Amendment having an expiration date. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in North Korea or Cuba.


They had to move the signs a few feet. They weren't told they had to remove them. There's no story here.

dont blame me

Wow!!! I've seen many political signs during the elections posted on the city right-of-away and nothing is said then. Maybe because many of them are posted on Chief Deputy Bruce Hirt’s rental properties.

The Bizness

You Justice for Jake people are turning into the guy from "Ancient Aliens"

I wish I could put the picture of him on here


What a joke if you don't know the family you don't need a sign. They've gained pity for a story that ia becoming a circus.


There are NUMEROUS towns, villages, cities, that have ordinances about signs. Not only in boulevards, but on poles and even store fronts. If you have questions you can find them at village hall or even online now a days. Most times a garage sale sign is not an issue as it is only there for a day or two, but when you have political signs that are in place for weeks or even months at a time and now the signs in question that have been up for even longer they are raising eyebrows. Find your local ordinance and just move your sign to a place in your yard where it will not be in violation. A simple remedy.


all I really want is justice from obamacare

Sal Dali

This sounds like a lot of nit-picking to me. Sandusky County residents make sure to complain about all the political signs that will be popping up soon in the same type of locations and lodge your complaints with the county and follow-up to make sure those get moved to a "proper" location. It is an embarrassment to SC and justly so; their negligence has received national attention rather than being swept under the rug, which they would have preferred. The "Justice for Jake and Ella" signs are not meant to disrupt anything with the exception of incompetence and corruption. They are meant to direct attention to the injustice this family has endured. Guess what? The signs are working! @BabyCakes, it is not a "circus," it is a battle against the justice system in Sandusky County; and it is not "pity;" it is called empathy. Most people have some degree of compassion and understand the anguish his parents and young daughter have suffered because the system failed the Limberios family. Individuals that have the slightest understanding of criminal justice or access to this information, realize Jake's case was completely mishandled by law enforcement from the start. Pray this never happens to anyone you know. Why do you feel that only those who know the family should be posting signs to direct attention to this tragedy? In the end, the results affect us all.

nosey rosey

Since these signs have seemed to have become permanent fixtures, good that they are enforcing the rules.

Erie County Resident

Ok, can somebody answer me this.
People that post garage/yard sale signs on the utility poles in my yard leave them there until they fall off. Time & weather takes them down.
Who is responsible to pick these up?

If the answer is me they'll come down the day they are put up.

Not going to take them down when your sale is done, your not gonna make me pick them up when they fall off the pole.


Call your city office or get online and see what the ordinance says. If it says no sign on poles, or they are on your property, then by all means, take them down as soon as you see them. I think there are lots of people out there that think it's ok to break the law as long as no one catches you.


Perhaps, since garage sale signs include the address of the sale, you might want to send a message - take them and tape them to the door of the person who posted them.