Metal thefts remain a problem over weekend -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Metal thefts remain a problem over weekend

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Metal thefts continue to be a problem in Albany, and this weekend posed a danger to the community. Four manhole and storm sewer covers were stolen in East Albany Sunday.  Fortunately no one drove or walked into one of the open holes.

And a couple of non profit agencies were targeted by metal thieves again.

South Georgia Metal salvage dealers tell us that their prices have not increased, and continue to be much lower than this time last year, when metal theft was widespread across South Georgia.

But stripping air conditioners for the copper tubing continues to be a problem, and now city officials worry that stolen man hole covers could really hurt someone.

Two manhole covers were stolen on East Broad Avenue, while the catch basins over a couple of storm drains on Blaylock Street were stolen Sunday. The metal tops weigh 90 pounds each, and cover holes that could be 25 feet deep.

Albany City Public Works Director Phil Roberson said "Fortunately they were reported to us in time before a car drove off or a child fell in one. But that's we are really concerned about, the safety aspect."

Metal thieves also targeted the Girl's Inc, Boys and Girls Club building on Inverness Drive again Saturday morning. That air conditioner had just been replaced by the non-profit agencies Friday, after being stripped a couple of weeks ago. Someone tried to remove the air conditioner cover early Saturday morning, setting off an alarm system that had been installed on the air conditioners. Boys and Girls Club officials are asking people in that neighborhood to help them protect their building.

Boys and Girl's Club of Albany Manager Bob Hutchinson said "We're begging, if you see anyone over there, you don't have to give your name. Get on the phone, call 9-1-1, and tell them there are folks hanging around this facility, and it's closed."

The recent air conditioner thefts cost the two children service agencies nearly $30,000 to repair, money that could have been used to help the kids. The manhole covers cost $100  each, your tax money stolen by metal thieves.

Scrap iron like manhole covers would only be worth pennies a pound, so the 90 pound man hole covers would not bring more than three or four dollars, if the thieves could sell them. Public works officials say that is a big public risk that thieves are posing on the community for very little money.

Albany Public Works says the only people authorized to move a manhole cover will be driving a marked city truck, and wearing a city uniform and orange vest, and if you see anyone else moving a manhole cover, call the Albany Police at 229-431-2100 or 9-1-1.


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