Delta Police have reported a “spate of stolen storm grates” over the past weekend but Surrey doesn’t seem to be experiencing the same problem.
On January 14 Surrey residents saw the damage a dislodged manhole cover can do, when an RCMP pickup truck hit one in Cloverdale, in the 18500-block of Fraser Highway in Cloverdale. The pickup then snapped a telephone pole and hit a store before catching fire. The crash left roughly 2,000 households without power for several hours.
It’s not believed someone tried to steal the manhole cover. In Delta’s case, it was not known at press time if metal thieves looking to cash in on the salvage are to blame for that city’s thefts.
“Obviously we have some public safety concerns regarding the missing storm drain grate covers, as they pose a potential danger to children, pets, pedestrians and cyclists,” Cris Leykauf, public affairs co-ordinator for Delta Police Department, told Black Press. “Our officers have alerted the city in order to have the grates replaced as quickly as possible,” she added.
As the investigation is active, Leykauf said, she is “somewhat limited in the information” she can provide but police want the public to be aware.
Delta Police ask residents to report anyone removing a storm grate, or acting suspiciously, by calling 604-946-4411.
Asked if Surrey city staff suspect the manhole cover incident on Fraser Highway is connected to Delta’s “spate” of thefts, Ray Kerr, the city’s engineering operations manager, told the Now-Leader, “I would say no at this point. We haven’t had a rash of manholes or catch basis lids missing. It does go sporadic, there have been times in the past where we have had manholes and catch basins disappear much like what Delta is dealing with right now. Very, very dangerous. But currently, not experiencing that issue.”
Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann echoed that: “Our crime analysts are always looking for trends, and this hasn’t been brought to our attention yet.”
As for the Fraser Highway manhole, Kerr said, “We’re still doing the investigation with respect to the manhole itself; the casting, the road. It’s still ongoing. The product, the manhole and the casting will end up getting tested. I mean, it’s a lengthy process. It does happen on the rare occasion. It could be anything from, I wouldn’t even speculate, it could be a number of different reasons.”