WAKE FOREST- Town officials and police in Wake Forest say that more than 60 storm grates been stolen from people’s homes over the past couple of weeks.
The storm grates are pieces of metal that measure about 2 feet by 3 feet, and cover drains that range between 3 and 10 feet deep. Public Information officer for Wake Forest, Bill Crabtree, says police are still trying to track down the thieves.
“Yes at last count we’ve had 62 storm drain grates that have been stolen throughout Wake Forest,” Crabtree says.
Many of the storm grates came from neighborhoods and residential areas in WakeForest. These missing storm grates can be dangerous for people walking around. Crabtree says they have taken precautions to help keep people safe.
“We have identified every missing storm drain grate with a couple of cones and police tape just trying to notify people in the area that the grate is missing and they need to be careful when in that area,” Crabtree states.
Last week it was reported that only a few storm grates were missing, but after several reports over the weekend WakeForest conducted an inventory to come up with how many were missing. Crabtree says the storm grates can be turned into a scrap yard for some quick cash, but it costs the town much more to replace.
“The return on the investment isn’t very much, you’re talking like $15 to $20, but the expense to the town and the taxpayers is pretty significant, it usually takes somewhere around $200 to replace a storm drain grate,” Crabtree says.
Public Information Officer for Chapel Hill Police, Bryan Walker, says no storm grates have been stolen in Chapel Hill recently.
“No, we haven’t had any storm drain covers stolen in Chapel Hill in recent memory,” Walker states.
**Update:** ABC 11 reported that police located the missing storm drain gates in a scrap yard, but have yet to identify the culprits.