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People keep stealing Gamecock women’s basketball banners from downtown Columbia

It seems everyone wants a piece of history to celebrate the NCAA championship-winning Gamecock women’s basketball team. But please don’t steal the light post banners honoring the team downtown, asks Main Street District President Matt Kennell.

The Main Street District hung up 45 banners celebrating the women’s championship win in April over the Iowa Hawkeyes. But in the first month of being hung up, seven of the banners have been stolen, Kennell told The State.

The banners cost about $50 each to make, Kennell added. The Main Street District has filed a police report, and he suspects the police department will be able to see the thefts of at least some of the banners on security cameras downtown.

Kennell said they will likely press charges against the thieves if the banners aren’t returned. But if the banners reappear, no charges would need to be pressed, he added.

“Your man or woman cave does not need these banners. They are for the players and the fans,” Kennell wrote on Twitter, asking residents to leave the banners where they are.

The banners are strung on light posts downtown, and are about 8 feet off the ground. The assumption is that the thefts are the result of late-night shenanigans, but Kennell added that he doesn’t think people realize how many security cameras there are on Main Street.

Now, if you still want one of the commemorative banners, you can call the Main Street District and ask to have your name put on a list. Kennell isn’t promising anything, but there is a chance that those who have asked permission to take a banner once they come down could be given the memorabilia. Kennell thinks the banners will likely hang until the start of the next basketball season.

“Some other folks just didn’t think to ask,” Kennell said.