Thieves Steal 20 Bethlehem Storm Sewer Grates

City police seek public's help in finding those responsible for stealing $5,000 in city property. Each grate weighs more than 100 pounds and is worth $250.


Thieves have stolen 20 storm sewer grates from the streets of Bethlehem in the last few days, Bethlehem police said Wednesday.

City officials are now seeking the public’s help in capturing whoever is responsible, while also sounding a note of caution for pedestrians who, if not careful, could step into a hole that has not been re-covered.

Each of the grates weighs more than 100 pounds and is valued at more than $250, according to the Bethlehem Police blog. That amounts to more than $5,000 worth of city property stolen. The thefts have all occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 a.m., police said.

Police are surmising that the thieves are stealing the grates to sell them for scrap “or to weigh down items being sold for scrap so that the seller gets more money in return.”

Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call Det. Jason Fulmer at 610-997-7682 or Det. Lt. Mark DiLuzio at 610-865-7672.

Police also asked the following:

“If you see anyone tampering with a storm grate [or any City property] please call 911 immediately. It is best to be a good witness and get the description of the people involved, car make/model/color/license plate, and their direction of travel.”

Staberdearth November 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Expect more of this sort of crime to continue. HOWEVER, graduating from copper to cast iron...not exactly a huge payday.. Copper- anywhere from $1 - $3 per pound, depending upon grade, type, configuration, etc. Cast iron - $0.07-$0.10 per pound Detecting stolen metal requires vigilance at scrap yard http://www.startribune.com/local/158320835.html
Carmen November 22, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Had my copper downspout stolen recently so when it came time to replace it I took down he copper gutter replaced the whole thing new with aluminum and sold the copper gutter myself to help pay for the aluminum one-figured it was just a matter of time before the sleazy slime balls returned for the rest of it and I did not want them to damage my garage roof. The case of the grates well it shows the disregard some people have for the safety of others-yes a person could fall in-don't they think of that but we have become a society where only ME is important and what I can do for ME and Money-that has become the god of so many people-so sad-well have a blesed Thanksgiving and remember-don't shop on Thanksgiving-your family and friends are more important than things.
Staberdearth November 22, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I have some copper downspouts and am actually surprised that thieves have not yet spotted them. Perhaps since they are weathered and have a green patina, thieves are too stupid to know that it is copper... As I said earlier, expect more and more of this in our "you owe me, entitlement voting for the Nanny State" society... It's no longer valid respect to know that, yes indeed I bought these gutters and downspouts with my own hard work and commitment. Now we have others who are to lazy or too drug addled to much care. What is yours is theirs and what is theirs is most certainly not yours... This is more or less promoted by the actions of some very public voices amongst us. You didn't build that so hence how could you possibly own it?
Staberdearth November 22, 2012 at 04:31 PM
If I had a person of need come to me for help, I would gladly sell the copper to give them something to eat, etc. if I had to. It is only important to me but not as far as that goes. To steal it, if I catch you, you will indeed be held long enough for the law to show. Yes, Black Friday, Black Midnight, whatever is just he beginning of the shopping creep. In years to come stores will serve turkey to you while you shop on Thanksgiving. It is only a matter of time and further amoral irreverence of all things non material. My detractors predictably assail me for being old fashioned. Intriguing point of view, don't you think? As if to be hip is to worship the material.


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