Storm grate thefts irritate community, jeopardize safety - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Storm grate thefts irritate community, jeopardize safety

City crews put down replacements Monday, but people who live on Sunrise are upset. City crews put down replacements Monday, but people who live on Sunrise are upset.

(WMC-TV) - The mood is anything but cheery on Sunrise Street after two strangers sped away with the storm grates.

City crews put down replacements Monday, but people who live on Sunrise are upset.

"They're thieves. People can say they're scavengers ... They're thieves. They're nothing but a low down thief," said resident Jim Carter. "They knew what they were doing when they got here. They knew what they were doing was wrong."

It is three feet down into the sewer. If grates are not in place then someone could fall in and get seriously hurt.

Larry Turner saw a mini-van stop on one side of the street.

Two guys jumped out, stole the storm grates, jumped back in, pulled a u-turn, stole the other storm grates, and drove off.

But it is hardly unique. In October 2012 city officials said storm grates are stolen regularly with a cost between $150 to $300 apiece.

"It's a simple matter of they took the taxpayers money and thumbed their nose at us," said Turner. "We all say we work too hard for what little we got, we don't need anybody coming and borrowing it."

Turner filed a report with police over the phone. He says one guy was wearing a bright green "Blight Patrol" shirt. The BP was a group of ex-felons who teamed up on a mission to clean up Frayser.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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