Thieves removing city property from the streets - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Thieves removing city property from the streets

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

By Sherea Harris

LEEDS, AL (WBRC) - FOX6 has told viewers about tailgates that were stolen from trucks in Birmingham. The suspects are accused of selling the stolen property at scrap yards. Now there's a similar crime in the city of Leeds.

It's a bit unusual, but folks are going around the city stealing manhole covers over stormwater drains on sidewalks. Police say it's another case of desperate people trying to get quick cash. Fifteen manhole covers have been reported stolen around Leeds.

The iron covers weigh up to 300 pounds and police say thieves are getting cash scrap yard businesses.

The city is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of those stealing and buying the covers. There are signs around town about the reward money.

Each cover costs the city thousands to replace but Mayor Eric Patterson says there's a more serious and dangerous matter at hand.

"People steal them at night and in the day a kid may be walking to school and walk right off in them. It's ridiculous. For a few dollars," said Mayor Patterson.

Patterson hopes scrap yard businesses will help police.

"They should know they are buying something that's been stolen. That's just like the tailgate problem you've heard about. They (scrap yard businesses) got a tip that they were bringing tailgates to scrap yards and that scrap yard did the right thing and told," said Mayor Patterson.

The reward money has folks talking. Patterson says police have gotten tips and are working leads. It's believed more than one person is stealing the covers because of how much they weigh.

If you know anything that can help police, the number to call is 699-2581.

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