E. Marlborough warns of stolen storm grates

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Storm water grates such as this one have been coming up missing in Southern Chester County, East Marlborough Police warn. Residents are warned to look for missing grates, as the resulting holes can be 10 to 20 feet and represent a serious safety hazard.

Residents warned over hazard of deep holes where grates are missing

EAST MARLBOROUGH — Township officials are warning local residents about thefts of storm grates from area roadways. While the thefts are a worry, it was what thieves leave behind, holes 10 to 20 feet deep that represent a real hazard for residents, especially children.

According to Township Police Lt. Robert Clarke, grates weighing between 100 and 200 pounds have been removed from local roadways during the overnight period, a job he said likely needed more than one person. Clarke said that the thieves are suspected of attempting to sell the grates for scrap.

And while the cost of replacing the grates is not insignificant, the big worry is for safety, he said.

“An unsuspecting innocent child, bicyclist, pedestrian, jogger or motorist could fall into the storm drain and suffer serious injury or death,” he said.

Township residents are asked to be on the lookout — be aware of the potential for missing grates, and to keep an eye out for suspicious individuals who might be tampering with or removing them.

“I am asking that you have a heightened sense of suspicion,” Clarke said. “If you see anyone around any of the storm drains that is not your township road department or PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) call 911 and report the activity immediately. Write down a description of the persons you see as well as vehicle information.”

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