Rotorua residents are being urged to report suspicious activity after a spate of thefts of stormwater cesspit grates, causing a safety risk to members of the public.
Four stormwater cesspit grates have been stolen from Holden's Bay and it has prompted Rotorua District Council to ask local residents to help keep a look out and report suspicious activity in the area.
One of the grates was found after a search of Holden's Bay. The cost to replace the grates missing from Lee Rd and Willow Ave is about $350 each.
Rotorua District Council roading engineer Elizabeth Wood said the last time a string of cesspit grate thefts happened, Rotorua police spoke with local scrap metal dealers and as a consequence the offenders, who were from Tauranga, were caught.
Ms Wood said the police had again been advised of the most recent thefts.
"So it is likely that offenders will find it difficult to successfully sell any stolen grates to scrap metal merchants," she said.
"When these grates are removed from roadsides it not only means a cost to the district's ratepayers for their replacement, but their removal also results in a serious safety risk for vehicles and pedestrians, especially children and the elderly."
Ms Wood encouraged members of the public to report any suspicious activity or if they have noticed missing grates.
"We're asking the public to notify the council if they locate any grates or notice any that have gone missing so we can replace them immediately and avoid potential accidents or serious injuries," she said.
"If you notice suspicious behaviour please take a note of the registration number of any vehicle involved and a description of the people acting in a suspicious manner, and contact the police."
Anyone with information about the stolen grates should call Rotorua police on (07) 348 0099 or 111 if it is an emergency.