WAKE FOREST: More than 60 drainage grates stolen in Wake Forest - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

More than 60 drainage grates stolen in Wake Forest

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Pedestrians and drivers in Wake Forest are being asked to be cautious of missing storm drain grates.

Wake Forest Police said more than 60 storm drain grates were stolen this weekend in the St. Andrews Plantation, Stonegate, Caveness Farms and Bowling Green subdivisions.

"From my understanding, they steal the grates and turn them into scrap metal for somewhere from $15 to $20," said Bill Crabtree, with the Town of Wake Forest.

The grates, which weigh over 100 pounds each, cover drains that often have a drop of more than 10 feet. When a drain cover is stolen it leaves a hole that would be easy for children, animals or adults to fall in.

"Kids ride up and down around here all the time -- skateboards and everything -- so it is definitely potentially a danger," said homeowner John Payne.

Officials say motorists pulling over could also damage their vehicles by driving into an uncovered storm drain.

"It's also a concern for motorists," Crabtree said. "If they pull up along side the curb, there's a chance their car could run into the hole as well."

Crews are using cones to identify the open storm drains out of concern for public safety and will replace the missing grates as fast as possible, the town said.

Although the storm drains only fetch $15 to $20 when sold for scrap metal, replacing the grates costs the town hundreds of dollars each.

Anyone who witnesses someone attempting to remove a storm drain grate is encouraged to call the Wake Forest Police Department at (919) 554-6150.

Melanie Sanders

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