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21 metal drainage grates stolen in Selby
RESIDENTS across Selby have been put at risk by the theft of nearly two dozen metal drainage grates, police have said.
A total of 21 grates were stolen from Burn Lane in Burn, New Road in Gateforth, and Rawfield Lane in Fairburn, over 48 hours, between Wednesday and Friday.
The latest thefts follow reports of 13 metal grates being stolen from the A162 Selby bypass on July 29, and police have warned the thefts could have serious consequences.
Inspector Richard Abbott, of Selby Police, said: “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.”
Alex Bailey, communications officer for CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, said: “This is a sad crime that potentially puts the whole community at risk. Frankly, for the thieves it seems like a lot of effort for a small return.
“Uncovered drains present a hazard that potentially affects adults and children getting around their neighbourhoods by bike, on foot and by car.”
Inspector Abbott said the crimes were probably linked, and the thieves may be using road signs to look as if they are genuine workmen.
He said: “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.”
Anyone who can help the police with their inquiries is urged to phone Selby police on 0845 6060247, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
Missing drain covers or other road defects can be reported using the CTC’s online service at fillthathole.org.uk