Thieves sink to stealing sewer grates in LaGrange Park
Updated: December 17, 2012 10:14AM
LAGRANGE PARK — Five sewer grates valued at about $1,000 have been stolen from village streets since November, police are reporting.
“It’s very aggravating when you know they’re being stolen to be sold as scrap, and the junk yards will take them,” said Phil Kubisztal, deputy police chief.
Residents reported two grates missing Dec. 6 from near Castle Circle and Robinhood Lane and a third grate stolen a block away at 30th Street and Robinhood.
Police later learned grates also had been stolen the end of November from near Spring and Oak avenues, as well as at 28th Street and Beach Avenue.
“It’s happened in other towns before, but not in LaGrange Park,” Kubisztal said. “Some other towns have had the big round manhole covers stolen from the middle of a street.”
Grate thefts also have been reported in Westchester, Broadview, Forest Park, North Riverside and Hillside, where manhole covers also were stolen. In the Hillside incident, a witness reported seeing two men taking the large covers and placing them in a black Cadillac Escalade and a red Chevy Tahoe during early morning hours.
Kubisztal said some communities have welded sewer grates in place to deter thieves, but that makes it difficult to conduct sewer repairs.
“We want people to be aware of these thefts for their own safety and also to be an extra set of eyes and ears,” Kubisztal said. “If you don’t see a Public Works truck or crew, chances are something is not quite right. We’d much rather have people call us about something suspicious.”