'Keep reporting,' say Doncaster police after man arrested with boot full of grate covers

Police in Doncaster have urged members of the public to keep reporting grate cover thefts after a man was arrested with a boot full of the metal grids.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 6:00 pm

The town has been blighted by a spate of missing or stolen metal roadside drainage covers in recent weeks, with hundreds stolen across Doncaster.

A man was arrested with over 25 gully covers in his boot last week.

Police were called by a several members of the public last Wednesday following reports of a group of men in a silver Renault Clio in the process of stealing drain covers in the Barnby Dun area.

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Police arrested a man with a car boot full of grate covers.

Officers attended and located the car and after a short police chase, one man, aged 26, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and theft. He has since been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.

Following the man’s arrest, officers are encouraging members of the public to continue to help to catch thieves operating in the area, by reporting incidents to police as they’re happening.

Inspector Alison Carr from South Yorkshire Police’s Doncaster East Neighbourhood Team said: “Thanks to reports from the public as these thefts were happening last week, we were able locate and arrest a suspect, and recover over 25 stolen drainage covers.

“The theft of gully covers is a serious issue that can cause real problems within local communities, and unfortunately reports of gully cover thefts continue to be high 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.

"However, we are encouraging anyone who sees someone removing drain covers and the crime is in action to please report it to the police on 999.

"This is really important as by reporting the crime whilst it’s taking place, we have a better chance of catching the criminals in action.”

Councillor Mark Houlbrook, Portfolio Holder for Waste at Doncaster Council, added: “We are working alongside South Yorkshire Police and other local partners to tackle the continuing issue of drain cover thefts head on, as not only is replacing these covers costing the taxpayer thousands, but drains which are not safely covered can be really dangerous.

“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.

“We urge people to report any thefts in action to the police, so they can attend and seek to locate those committing these crimes. If you notice any missing covers in your area, you can report the problem along with any other highways issues to us on 01302 736000.”

Anyone who has any information which may assist police investigations, such as CCTV of thefts in action, or photographs, mobile phone footage or information about vehicles being used by offenders, is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

Alternatively, you can give information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on its hotline on 0800 555 111.