Police search for storm drain thieves
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police are searching for the crooks responsible for stealing storm drain covers from a South Florida neighborhood.
Over the past three months, North Miami Police has documented hundreds of incidents of stolen storm drain covers. The city said about 465 drains have been stolen. "We've had several incidents actually over the past several months. We've noticed that it has increased," said North Miami spokesperson Pam Solomon.
Crews are working quickly to replace large holes left in the wake of these theft, which pose serious safety hazards to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. "Very dangerous. Someone can walk by, fall in it, get hurt real bad," said Howard Lubin.
Lubin almost drove into one. "Pulled up and nearly fell in the drain, so I backed up, I looked and there was no cover," he said.
Claudia Reyes is concerned about the safety hazard it causes to her and others. "There's a lot of people walking by here. You don't know how deep that is," said Reyes.
The city has to pay about $168 for each stolen drain. "It's money that we can spend otherwise, instead of replacing things that are already out on the street," said Solomon.
North Miami Police Detective Felix Guadarrama wants the public to be aware of the thefts and be on the lookout for the storm drains in places they should not be. "If someone sees them in a vehicle, in someone's backyard, in a business, just please, call either North Miami or Crime Stoppers," said Guadarrama.
If you have any information on these thefts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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