Stormwater cesspit grate thefts put community safety at risk
10 February 2013
A recent spate of stormwater cesspit grate thefts in Holden’s Bay has prompted Rotorua District Council (RDC) to ask local residents to help keep a look out and report any suspicious activity in the area.
Four cesspit grates have been stolen, one of which was recovered after a search of Holden’s Bay. The cost to replace the grates missing from Lee Road and Willow Avenue is around $350 each.
RDC roading engineer Elizabeth Wood said the last time a string of cesspit grate thefts occurred, Rotorua Police spoke with local scrap metal dealers and as a consequence the perpetrators, from Tauranga, were caught.
The police have again been advised of the most recent thefts and so it is likely that offenders will find it difficult to successfully sell any stolen grates to scrap metal merchants.
“When these grates are removed from roadsides it not only means a cost to the district’s ratepayers for their replacement, but their removal also results in a serious safety risk for vehicles and pedestrians, especially children and the elderly,” said Ms Wood.
“We’re asking the public to notify the council if they locate any grates or notice any that have gone missing so we can replace them immediately and avoid potential accidents or serious injuries.
“If you notice suspicious behaviour please take a note of the registration number of any vehicle involved and a description of the people acting in a suspicious manner, and contact the police.”