More than 160 metal drain covers have been taken – and South Yorkshire Police are keen to come down hard on those resposnible.
Areas including Thorne, Barnby Dun, Edenthorpe and Moorends have all been targeted with a string of gully covers disappearing between 14 and 17 January 2022 alone.
Officers from South Yorkshire Police, alongside Doncaster Council’s Highways Team, are now appealing for the public's help to catch thieves operating in the area.
Inspector Alison Carr from South Yorkshire Police’s Doncaster East Neighbourhood Team said: “The theft of gully covers is a serious issue that can cause real problems within local communities. Unfortunately, reports of gully cover thefts are on the rise, and whilst there have been reports of these offences across the town, nearly two thirds of these thefts have taken place in Doncaster East.
“We are currently pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and investigations are very much ongoing to locate those carrying out these thefts.
“If anyone sees someone removing drain covers and the crime is in action, please report it to the police on 999. By reporting the crime whilst it’s taking place, we have a better chance of catching the criminals in action.”
Coun Mark Houlbrook from Doncaster Council added: “When drain covers are stolen, holes are left in the road or the pavement which can result in serious harm and injury to drivers, pedestrians, children and cyclists.
“Incidents like these can also end up costing the taxpayer thousands as we have to ensure each gully is safe, as well as paying for replacement covers.
“If you notice any missing covers in your area, you can report the problem along with any other highways issues to 01302 736000.”
Anyone who has information which may assist police investigations, such as CCTV of thefts in action, or information about vehicles being used by offenders, is asked to call police on 101.
Alternatively, you can give information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.