ROTHERHAM Council is appealing for help to catch unscrupulous thieves who are stealing drainage covers across the borough.
Figures revealed a whopping 96 covers have been lifted so far this year and officials have warned the town’s highways will be left in a “very dangerous state” if the thefts continue.
The authority has also said it costs £120 each to replace the covers - money which would otherwise have been spent on maintaining the highway network.
Road users – especially cyclists – are being warned to take extra care when travelling at night as the open gullies are difficult to see in the dark.
Rotherham Council said its Streetpride team always re-covers any open gullies, and they are asking anyone who sees one to report it to the police or Streetpride team on 01709 336003.
Councillor Gerald Smith, regeneration and environment cabinet member, said: “Drainage covers do go missing occasionally but every now and then calculating thieves decide to make concentrated raids at various locations.
“These thieves have no regard for safety or cost and we would urge the public to report any incident that they believe to be suspicious.
“People loading covers into an unmarked van are certainly not working for the authority and should be reported to the police immediately on 01709 832280.”