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Thieves Snatching Natomas Storm Drain Grates

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Suspects have stolen more than 100 storm drain grates in Sacramento in recent weeks, forcing city workers to rush to replace them and leaving residents at a loss to explain by the culprits’ motives.

Natomas residents said at least 13 of the cast iron grates went missing overnight Wednesday, and city workers have begun welding the replacement grates in place.

The covers cost about $63 each to replace, but it is unlikely that thieves snatched the metal to sell for scrap. Although prices for recycled copper have jumped to about $3.25 a pound, cast iron can only sell for about a penny if you can find a recycler willing to pay for it.

At least one cover disappears a night, according to city officials, but suspects take as many as 15 in other nights.

The city of Sacramento has already paid at least $5,300 in materials alone.

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