Wake Forest police recover 98 missing storm drain grates

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comDecember 18, 2013 

— Police have recovered 98 storm drain grates that had been swiped from neighborhoods in Wake Forest, Rolesville and Raleigh, a Wake Forest spokesman said Wednesday.

Spokesman Bill Crabtree would not say how or where investigators found the heavy iron covers, which measure 2 feet by 3 feet and weigh more than 100 pounds each.

“I can’t get into that right now,” Crabtree said. “I’m hoping to be able to release more information by Friday.”

Police think the grates were stolen for their value as scrap metal, but no arrests have been reported, Crabtree said. He said authorities released information about the recovered grates because residents were starting to call city hall wanting to know when they would be replaced.

Sixty-two of the grates had been taken from streets in Wake Forest subdivisions, including St. Andrews Plantation, Stonegate, Caveness Farms and Bowling Green, while nine came from Rolesville and 27 from Raleigh.

Raleigh officials had already picked up their storm grates Wednesday, and Wake Forest workers will deliver the nine grates that belong to Rolesville on Thursday. Public works employees in Wake Forest started replacing the missing grates throughout town on Wednesday and expect to finish Thursday.

Before finding the grates, town crews in Wake Forest set up cones and police tape around the drains to alert walkers, joggers, bicyclists and drivers to the safety hazards. The grates cover drains that can drop as much as 10 feet below street level.

The grates are worth about $15 to $20 each when scrapped, but replacing them would have cost hundreds of dollars apiece.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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