The city of New Haven has a big problem. Someone is stealing metal grates from a number of catch basins.
The Department of Public Works says they had a similar problem in Fair Haven two years ago, and now it’s happening in Newhallville.
They’ve had to replace 20 grates that were stolen.
"It’s very frustrating because the thing is, they're not cheap, like $300 a piece, that's taxpayers’ money,” said Lynwood Dorsey, superintendent of streets for New Haven Public Works.
With 20 grates grabbed from catch basins in the past two weeks, that means a roughly $6,000 loss for the Elm City.
Dorsey said he’s been constantly ordering the 50 to 70 pound grates to keep up with whoever is stealing them for scrap metal.
So far catch basins have been targeted on Goodyear Street, Willis Street, Harding Place, Shelton Street, and Gibbs Street in Newhallville, along with Lombard and West streets.
"What these perpetrators are doing is they're putting the stuff underneath the piles. So, when they go across the scale, its more, extra weight, the scale operator won't be able to see it until after its dumped,” Dorsey said.
He said he’s been visiting local scrapyards, but the thought is whoever is stealing the grates, is turning them in outside of New Haven, and it’s not just the time and money that’s the concern, but also safety.
"School is in session, kids can be at the bus stop. It’s bad, some of those catch basins are 6 feet, 7 feet deep, even more,” Dorsey said.
Not only is the Department of Public Works working on this, they've also been in contact with the police department's detective bureau.
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