Grate theft in Atlanta has become a major safety concern for the city as well as an expensive habit that is burdening taxpayers.
Thieves are removing heavy metal grates that are placed on the street to close up large holes into the sewage passage and selling them as scrap metal for as little as $20 apiece. Stealing the grates leaves a large and dangerous gap that pedestrians could fall into, with drops up to 10 feet.
Aside from being dangerous, the city also has no choice but to replace each of the metal objects at the going price of $800 per unit, leaving residents with a bitter taste in their mouths. Police suspect the thieves sell the grates to resellers, who then ship them overseas at a $200 profit.