People, or One Very Strong Person, Are Stealing 300-Pound Sewer Grates in Saugus

So far 11 of them have gone missing.

photo via

If it wasn’t such a dangerous crime, you’d almost have to hand it to the thief, or thieves, who have apparently been snatching 300-pound sewer grates from the streets of Saugus.

The bizarre string of grate heists has sparked an investigation in the town north of Boston after police discovered that nearly a dozen of the heavy metal objects had gone missing overnight.

According to a report from the Saugus Police Department, eight grates were reported missing on Wednesday from the construction site of a new housing development called Essex Landing. Not long after that, the local DPW found three more had apparently been stolen around town, including near an elementary school.

How exactly do you pull that many heavy metal objects out of the ground, over and over, undetected, and then drive off with them? For what reward? The Daily Item reports that the grates will cost between $300 and $350 to replace, but what their value is to your average crooked scrap yard owner is unclear.

Of course, police noted in their report, yanking sewer grates out of the ground is dangerous for the obvious reason: It leaves a gaping, human-size hole in the street.

“The theft of sewer grates and drain covers poses a serious public safety hazard for motorists, bicyclist and pedestrians, police said. “The theft of roadway coverings near a school, where children regularly walk, is especially concerning.”

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to call Saugus PD at 781-941-1199.