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Thieves swipe metal grates from I-20
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Interstate 20 is missing some metal.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint on Friday, Aug. 29, from an employee with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) regarding 16 missing interstate grates on I-20 in Newton County.

The grates were removed without permission from I-20 westbound and eastbound between exits 90 and 94, leaving a dangerous roadway hazard, according to an NCSO press release.

The GDOT employee stated he was checking the area and noticed the grates missing in the early morning on Thursday, Aug. 28. He said GDOT immediately secured safety around the area by replacing the stolen grates with sheet metal, the release said. When he went back Friday morning, the sheet metal had been stolen from the same 16 locations.

“GDOT had secured all uncovered area,” Sgt. Morrison said in an email.

The case is still under investigation, so the reason for the thefts is still unclear, she said, but NCSO has “alerted local recycling centers as, typically, when metal is stolen, it is scrapped for money.”

NCSO asks anyone who notices suspicious activity to call 911. No person or vehicle is to be around the grates except clearly marked GDOT employees and vehicles.

Also, if anyone has information on the thefts, contact NCSO. To submit an anonymous tip, email or 678-625-5007.