Missing Drain Covers In Upstate Shopping Center Worry Shoppers - WSPA.com

Missing Drain Covers In Upstate Shopping Center Worry Shoppers

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Spartanburg, SC -

Stolen storm drain covers have left two big holes in the back of an Upstate shopping center parking lot.

Shoppers say the drains have been left uncovered for more than a month and they want to know who's responsible for replacing the grates.

Jane Marsh first noticed the two drains uncovered on Monday. As a frequent shopper to the Dollar Tree in East Spartanburg, she's worried someone could drive into one, or worse.

"I think about children more than anything. What if something were to happen?" said Jane.

And she's not the only one who's had to dodge them. While we were talking to Jane, Thad Tinsley, Jr. was walking through the parking lot, right by the open drains. He says he first noticed them four weeks ago.

"One morning I came through and there was no covers there, so I called 911," said Thad.

According to Spartanburg police reports, they're among about 20 drain covers or grates reported missing in the last six weeks.

The two shopping center drain covers were reported missing March 2nd. Now, caution tape surrounds them, but still no covers.

"They need to have a permanent cover there," said Jane. "And whoever is responsible needs to get it done."

The City of Spartanburg's street maintenance manager tells us because the parking lot is private property, the property owner would be responsible for getting the drains covered.

We found one of the owner's numbers, on a sign in an empty store front.

Robert Harris with Viking Village Partners, LLC in New Jersey told us over the phone, he was just alerted to the problem on Monday.

"If we would have known that there was anything that caused a danger, we would take care of it right away," said Harris.

He says one of the drains actually belongs to a restaurant sharing the same parking lot. He says both property managers have a permanent fix on the way.

"We placed the order and as soon as they come in they'll be put there," said Harris. "And we're looking for a device to somehow lock them in place."

Harris says the covering for this type of square drain runs about $400, plus the cost to put it in. So it will end up costing more than $800 to replace both drain grates.

Spartanburg Public Safety tells us officers haven't made any arrests related to all of those missing storm drain covers. Police also can't say if the incidents are related.

Unless it's a clearly marked water department worker, Police say no one should be messing with drain covers. If you see something suspicious, they urge you to call 911 immediately.

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