Two Mt. Juliet men are accused of stealing storm grates in Lebanon.
According to Chief Scott Bowen, police responded to the area of Ten Oaks Drive Saturday at around midnight after a caller reported suspicious activity in the neighborhood.
When officers found the truck described by the caller, they noticed four storm grates in the back of the truck.
The truck’s occupants, Michael Sweeney, 19, of Mt. Juliet, and John Scott, 20, of Mt. Juliet, told officers they were trying to return the grates, according to Bowen.
“[T]hey said they had stolen them in March and were trying to make it right by returning them,” said Bowen in a statement.
Bowen also said, though, that the grates had fresh mud on them and were wet from recent rains.
“The evidence we have, it just didn’t pan up,” said Bowen.
Officers checked the area and found drainage areas missing storm grates.
“We had a rash of [these types of theft] late last year,” said Bowen. “We think they sell them for the metal. These things are valued at about $800 a piece.”
Bowen said that not only do these types of thefts get very costly very quickly, they also create safety hazards by leaving holes that motorists could accidently drive into.
“Not only that, if we have a huge rain over the weekend, there’s no telling what could be washed down in there, blocking up the system,” said Bowen.
He said this case is a good example of citizens working with police.
“We’re really fortunate a citizen saw something and immediately called the police,” said Bowen. “It’s a combination that works well together when we get citizens that see suspicious behavior to give us a call.”
Sweeney and Scott were both charged with theft of property. Sweeney’s bond was set at $1,000, and his court date was set for Oct. 15. Scott’s bond was set at $2,000, and his court date was set for Oct. 15.