Following a city of Cartersville police officer's patrol through the area, specifically along Grove Spring Court and Greystone Way, six storm drain covers were found to be missing from the drains along the side of the roadway.
In light of the discovery, CPD issued a news release seeking public assistance regarding any suspicious activity around storm drains.
"The only vehicles that should be in the vicinity of storm drains with people appearing to be working on the storm drains are those vehicles marked with the City of Cartersville logo," CPD Chief Thomas Culpepper said in the news release.
CPD Lt. Mark Camp said that the suspects could be taking the covers to recycling centers and selling them as scrap iron, but a Self Recycling spokesperson said that is not the case at their facility.
"We refuse man hole covers on the spot because we know those are property of the state," the center's spokesperson said. "So we refuse to receive them."
Cartersville's Public Works Department responded to the area as soon as they were notified by police and replaced five of the covers.
"Even if we can't put the covers back right away, we can take precautionary measures like putting a sign up to warn people that there is a hole there," a public works spokesperson said. "Unfortunately, people do try to sell them at scrap yards, not necessarily in the city of Cartersville, and they can get something for them. The covers aren't tagged with any identifying marks."
The county water department reported similar problems throughout the less populated areas and solving the problem by welding covers to the drains.
"We had about nine or 10 stolen three or four months ago," Bartow County Water Department Superintendent Gene Camp said. "They're not in subdivisions. It's all along the county streets where they can get to them out of sight."
Due to the subdivision remaining undeveloped, police are relying on the areas residents to assist in the investigation by reporting suspicious people.
"Please report any suspicious activity immediately," Culpepper said. "We want to put a stop to this as quickly as possible. Obviously our officers cannot watch all of the storm drain locations at the same time but the citizens of Cartersville become a very important second set of eyes for us."