Grate thefts dan­ger­ous

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

The quick think­ing of a Porirua scrap me­tal dealer has shown thieves are not likely to be able to make an easy dol­lar from sell­ing stolen drain cov­ers.

Lo­cal scrap dealer In­got Met­als has re­cov­ered seven cast-iron drain cov­ers from peo­ple who have turned up and at­tempted to sell them as scrap me­tal, and passed on the would-be sellers’ con­tact de­tails to po­lice.

Over 30 heavy stormwa­ter drain grates re­cently dis­ap­peared from road­sides across the Welling­ton re­gion in the space of a week, and Kapi-mana News re­ported in De­cem­ber last year the oc­cur­rence of such thefts lo­cally.

‘‘It is great to see re­spon­si­ble scrap deal­ers work­ing with coun­cils to keep the com­mu­nity safe by not pur­chas­ing sump tops and re­port­ing ap­proaches to po­lice,’’ says Porirua City Coun­cil road­ing man­ager Ge­off Mar­shall.

In Welling­ton, the city coun­cil is urg­ing res­i­dents and mo­torists to keep an eye out for sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity around the sub­urbs to help pre­vent the theft of more of the cast-iron cov­ers.

WCC in­fra­struc­ture di­rec­tor Stavros Michael says the cov­ers have been stolen from streets in Is­land Bay, Brook­lyn and the Seatoun Bays.

‘‘ They leave holes into which a small child could eas­ily fall and drown – or cause death or se­ri­ous in­jury for any cy­clist who has the mis­for­tune to ride into one of the open sumps. If a car drops a wheel into one of the open sumps then the dam­age could be se­vere.’’

Mr Michael says po­lice have been no­ti­fied of the spate of thefts.

‘‘We think this is a sign that the global scourge of me­tal theft is start­ing to take root in New Zealand.’’

Po­lice are also urg­ing res­i­dents to call the 0800 555 111 Crimestop­pers num­ber if they have in­for­ma­tion.

Where thefts have oc­curred, new grates are be­ing in­stalled or tem­po­rary cov­ers are be­ing put in place.

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