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City baffled at recent theft streak

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- Storm grates are a part of the road most of us aren't really too aware of, unless one goes missing.

It could cause major damage to your vehicle or put pedestrians at risk for serious injury.

Recently Midwest City officials have noticed the grates are disappearing from different areas all around town.

Vaughn Sullivan, with the City of Midwest City, said, "A car, if they get a little close to the curb, could drop a wheel off. It could cause them to lose control."

A dangerous crime which is putting drivers and pedestrians at risk.

Midwest City officials are baffled at how someone is just walking away with these grates.

Back in January 2011, this same crime was happening.

At that time, city officials took action to stop the crime.

Sullivan said, "We took bolts and wedged them in here with sledge hammers."

The bolts made it much harder to remove the grates which is why city workers are baffled by the recent thefts.

Officials said they believe there are multiple suspects, not only because of the difficulty to remove the grates but because they are so heavy.

Just lifting one grate typically takes at least two city employees.

Sullivan said, "We have some of them wedged so tightly that we have to use a backhoe to remove them for our maintenance purposes."

The grates are marked with the city's name, something they hope will help track down the grates and potential suspects.

Officials ask that you call police if you see someone messing with the grates and they are not in a marked city vehicle.

City officials believe the grates are being sold for scrap.

They likely are sold for less than $20; however, replacing them costs the city around $100 per grate.