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17 December 2013, 10:20
Detectives are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward after a large number of manhole covers were stolen in the Bournemouth and Poole areas.
The latest incidents were discovered at 9.30pm on Thursday 12 December 2013 in the Talbot area of Bournemouth.
On this occasion eight manhole covers were stolen from locations in Dulsie Road, Carrbridge Road and Keith Road.
Detective Sergeant Alistair Rogers, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said:
"These crimes create very hazardous conditions as motorists may drive into the holes or have to take potentially dangerous actions to avoid them.
"Over 100 covers have been stolen during night time hours in Poole and Bournemouth since October this year at a big cost to councils.
"The scrap value of each cover is just £8 but the cost to replace it is 20 to 30 times that.
"Each cover has its own distinctive logo and they are very likely being sold to a rogue scrap metal dealer.
"I am appealing to anyone who may have witnessed these incidents take place, has information about those responsible or saw any suspicious behaviour in the areas to contact police.
"I would like the public to report the registration numbers of vehicles seen removing the manhole covers as the offenders may be dressed in high visibility jackets.
"If residents have CCTV footage that may have recorded the thefts, they should also contact police.
"Any information will be treated in the strictest confidence."
No arrests have been made.
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 12:488.
Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.