By Beth Germano

SAUGUS (CBS) – Saugus Police are looking for the thief who has been stealing sewer grates. It’s apparently a one man job with grates being ripped off on roadways and many from a construction site along Route 1, leaving developer Michael Touchette frustrated.

“I’m more shocked that one person did it, normally it’s a two man operation to take these things. Must be very strong and very desperate to come here and do that,” Touchette said.

sewer Thief Steals Sewer Grates Leaving Deep Holes On Saugus Roads

Sewer grate stolen at Saugus construction site (WBZ-TV)

Surveillance video captures a man driving a Ford pickup truck and making his move in the dark on Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week, lifting covers that weigh more than 160 pounds.

Saugus Police say it’s a lot of effort for some scrap money. “For eight grates taken from the development they’ll probably get about $200,” said Saugus police Lt. Ron Giorgetti.

Touchette says they’re replacing the grates as fast as they can at $250.00 each. The gaping holes have become a safety issue since some are at least 16 feet deep.

sewer2 Thief Steals Sewer Grates Leaving Deep Holes On Saugus Roads

Sewer grate stolen at Saugus construction site (WBZ-TV)

Richie Diangelis who works at the construction site says he was caught off guard himself and nearly fell in. “I looked down and said ‘wow the thing is open,’” said Diangelis. “If I wasn’t looking I would have been in trouble.”

Some were even ripped off, but quickly replaced, at the Lynnhurst Elementary School in Saugus adding to the safety concern. Police say they’ve alerted junkyards there’s a thief on the loose. “I’d rather help the guy if I could,” said Touchette.

For now, he’s trying to cover up the damage done, at considerable expense.

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