Storm sewer grate thefts costing Cincinnati

Oct 23, 2014

City of Cincinnati employee Chris Hines bends over and installs a lock on one of nearly six dozen sewer grates that have been stolen this month.

This one is on Southside Ave. in Riverside.  City supervisor Rick St. John says Riverside and Sayler Park are where most have been stolen. A few have gone missing from South Fairmount and one from Camp Washington.

St. John says, "Unfortunately we can't afford to do a wholesale placement of locks, so a lot of times we put tar down... to make it difficult for somebody to pull the grates up."

St. John says stealing the grates is a lot of work for little profit. The cast iron grates weigh about 150 pounds and are broken up to sell for scrap. He asks people to report missing grates by calling 513-352-4900 and turn in grate thieves to police.

The thefts have cost Cincinnati about $10,000 this year. Tips from a local resident led police to the capture of one suspect on October 13.