Widespread infrastructure thefts on SC highways

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation report that ten drain grates stolen in Georgetown county are part of a bigger epidemic of highway thefts.

In a report by the SCDOT, storm drain grates, manhole covers and guardrail pieces are being stolen from highways across the state.

It is believed that 68 grates were stolen off of I-85 over the Oct. 14-16 weekend in Anderson County.

"This is very possibly the most widespread case of infrastructure theft on our highways that has ever occurred in South Carolina," David Cook, State Maintenance Engineer said, "These thefts are very serious and present potential hazards to the motoring public.  They also will result in unnecessary costs to taxpayers and traffic congestion when we are forced to close lanes to replace these items."

Cook said it's possible the stolen items were taken to a recycling center.  SCDOT are in the process of ordering replacements.  Crews have used cones to alert motorists of the areas where grates were stolen.

Motorists are advised to report any suspicious activity on the roads to law enforcement or call 911.

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