Peiting Police Chief Rudolf Fischer said a motorist called police late Saturday evening and reported a man with a flashlight attached to his head was working on a warning sign and attempting to hide whenever cars approached, The Local.de reported Tuesday.
Officers arrived and arrested the 54-year-old man, who matched the description of the man believed to be behind the thefts of screws from dozens of other road signs.
"He had a large number of nuts and appropriate tools with him," Fischer told the Munchner Merkur newspaper. "He quickly admitted that he had been dismantling road signs for some time."
Police said they found several pounds of stolen screws, nuts and eyelets in the man's home. Investigators said the man, who is receiving psychological care, was apparently motivated by a compulsion to collect.