District issues reward for missing covers

Karcher Creek Sewer District officials are fed up with thieves stealing manhole covers.

The district, which has lost approximately 20 covers since last May, including two last Wednesday, is issuing a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever is taking the covers.

“It’s a real safety issue,” said the district’s general manager Dick Fitzwater. “People can drive into them or fall into them.”

The covers cost $155 apiece to replace and weigh about 50 lbs each. The thief or thieves are so prolific, Fitzwater said, that the district has replaced stolen covers only to have replacements stolen a short time later.

Although the covers require a special wrench to pry up, Fitzwater said a determined person would be able to jury-rig something to use in place of the wrench.

When asked why someone would want to steal a manhole cover, Fitzwater said: “Just to irritate the hell out of us.”

If the thieves are looking to sell the solid-aluminum covers for scrap, Fitzwater said they are likely to be disappointed. It is illegal for scrap yards to take manhole covers, and Fitzwater said he he personally made sure all the yards in the area are aware of the prohibition.

The $1,000 reward will only be valid if the law enforcement agency which arrests the thieves confirms the arrest and conviction was primarily due to the information provided.

Anyone with information about the thefts should call Dick Fitzwater at: 871-6861.

Anyone who finds an uncovered and unattended manhole should call 911. CenCom will then contact the district to whom the manhole belongs and advise officials of the situation.

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