Metal drain thefts in Selby
12:00am 17th August 2011
Thieves in Selby are targetting metal drain and grate covers.
It's causing a major hazard for road users and pedestrians.
Over 20 have been stolen in the last few days.
The Highways Agency has reported thefts from Burn Lane, Burn, New Road in Gateforth and Rawfield Lane, Fairburn.
The thefts, which are believed to be linked, follow a previous report of 13 metal grates being stolen from the A162 Selby Bypass on 29th July 2011.
Inspector Richard Abbott, of Selby Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team says:
"Not only is stealing metal storm drains and grates an illegal practice it is also potentially putting the residents of Selby District in danger.
"All it takes is for a motorcyclist to hit a hole in the road where a drain cover should have been or for a car wheel to get stuck and we could have a serious injury or even a fatality on our hands.
"It is also a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians and I am urging anyone who knows who is responsible for these thefts to contact the police as soon as possible."
Inspector Abbott urged people living in or travelling through the area to look out for anyone apparently working at the roadside and call the police if they are suspicious.
"We suspect that the same people are responsible for the current incidents that we are investigating.
"They may appear as if they are workmen operating beside the road and they certainly seem to be doing a professional job of removing the covers, however we need to put a stop to their crimes, therefore any information could be important.
"The drain covers are fairly heavy which suggests that there is more than one person committing these thefts and will probably be using a van or a flatbed truck to load the metal on to."
Officers also believe that the thieves could also be using road signs to make it look as if they are genuine workmen.
Anyone who can help the police with their enquiries is urged to contact Selby police on 0845 60 60 24 7, quoting reference number 12110134621.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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