SAUGUS — Thieves have taken three more sewer grates, leaving large holes uncovered on Saugus’ roads.
Last Tuesday, eight sewer grates were taken from the Essex Landing property, where a $150 million complex is being constructed on Route 1. Two were stolen from Essex Street, and one from the Lynnhurst Elementary School Wednesday.
Now, three more have been reported missing, said Saugus Police Lt. Ronald Giorgetti.
“It’s still under investigation but it’s possible that they all may be related,” he said. “We don’t have anything further.”
According to the police log, officers received a report of a manhole cover missing in the area of Highland Avenue and Vine Street and two manhole covers stolen in the area of the Essex Street parking lot of the Square One Mall Monday.
Each grate weighs between 300 and 350 pounds and costs the town about $300 to replace, he said.
Giorgetti said that if the individual scrapped all eight stolen from Essex Landing, they would receive only $200, or about $25 each.
The biggest concern is that when the covers are removed, a large hole is left in the ground that a motor vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian could fall into.
The theft of roadway coverings near a school, where children walk regularly, is especially concerning, he said.
Police are continuing to investigate and looking for any video footage that captured images of the act in progress. Because of the weight of the pieces, more than one person is likely involved and a truck or pickup truck was possibly used, said Giorgetti.