Warwickshire drain cover theft on the increase
The theft of drain covers from roads in Warwickshire is on the increase, the county council says.
There have been 400 thefts recorded in the county since June which the council said had made roads unsafe and cost taxpayers about £90,000.
The Conservative-led council said the figures were four times higher than anticipated.
Thieves have recently been targeting areas close to Bidford on Avon, Brinklow, Nuneaton and Salford Priors.
Councillor Peter Butlin said he was concerned for the safety of road users and said cyclists particularly were at risk of injury. He urged members of the public to be vigilant.
"We need public support in reporting any suspicious incidents so that thefts can be prevented and the offenders brought to justice," he said.
"Our latest information indicates the offenders may be wearing fluorescent jackets and using unmarked vehicles, and we are asking the public to report any activity they see where people appear to be working around drain covers so that we can check whether they are supposed to be working on the highway.
"If anyone sees suspicious vehicles parked or anyone behaving in an unusual manner near road drain covers they should call the police crime desk, but if they see a theft in progress they should call 999 immediately.
"It would be useful if registration numbers of suspicious vehicles could be noted."