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Boston lights up problem property with highway sign

Fed up with police being dispatched to a Boston home for a stabbing, drug deals and prostitution, city officials have decided to install a huge lighted sign in front of the house meant to shame the owner into action.

Boston officials parked a trailer in front of the house in the Dorchester neighborhood that is equipped with a lighted sign like those seen along highways to alert drivers to road construction. In large lighted letters the sign reads, "Designated Problem Property."

"We’re going to do everything we can to shame these owners that are not responsive to cleaning up their properties,” Dot Joyce, a spokesman for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald, which reported on the sign Thursday.

The landlord of the multifamily home, Ed Franco, owes the city some $2,000 for trouble with this and other properties, officials told the Herald.

Franco’s attorney Stuart Schrier called the sign "blaming the victim," since the landlord is the one embarrassed by it. Franco has responded to all notices from the city and moved to evict residents of the property, Schrier told msnbc.com, but the process is lengthy and requires evidence to be put before a judge.

"I think I'll call the mayor as a witness testify at trial," Schrier said, "since he has knowledge about the case." 

It was unclear how long the sign would remain at the property.

A representative from the mayor’s office weren’t immediately available for comment to msnbc.com.

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