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Metal thieves graduate from storm drains to older cars

Matthew Lane • Mar 5, 2012 at 11:31 AM

KINGSPORT — Thieves are stealing cars, having them scrapped, and using the money to buy drugs.

At least according to the Kingsport Police Department, which has been investigating a number of metal thefts over the past couple of months.

Kingsport officials say they’ve been seeing an uptick in the theft of storm drain grates in recent months. Ronnie Hammonds, streets and sanitation manager, said the city has had about 35 of the grates stolen since December. The grates are the ones you see in the roadways with slots to allow stormwater to drain through.