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A new low: Metal thieves now swiping Tacoma’s storm drain covers

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Aug. 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
August 25, 2011 4:09 pm

Increasingly brazen metal thieves have a new favorite target in Tacoma: They are swiping storm drain grates. The city’s reporting they’ve made off with at least 15 in the last 24 hours. They are asking people to report missing grates, which leave an open hole that poses a threat to bicycles and vehicles. If you see someone walking around with a heavy metal grate, call the cops.

Here are details from the city.

Missing storm drain grates present hazard to drivers, bicyclists

A rash of thefts of storm drain grates has hit parts of Tacoma, leaving exposed storm drains that are dangerous to drivers and bicyclists, among others.
At least 15 grates have been stolen in the last 24 hours. City crews are replacing grates within the city limits as reports come in.
The City is working with the Tacoma Police Department and area scrap metal dealers to identify the thieves.
If you see an open storm drain within the city, please call the City’s Environmental Services Maintenance Division at (253) 591-5585.
If you see someone who may be stealing the grates, please contact Tacoma Police at (253) 798-4721.
Each grate costs about $160 to replace, so the cost is a problem, but right now, the city is more concerned with safety.

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