2 Charged With Storm Drain Grate Thefts

Forty grates have disappeared in about a month.

In the last month, 40 storm drain grates have disappeared from the Fair Haven Heights neighborhood of New Haven and police have arrested two suspects after getting an anonymous tip.

The caller told police that a man and woman were stealing grates and gave a vehicle description.

At 9:11 a.m., police saw a BMW matching the description on 39 Houston St. and asked the woman standing next to the car to open the car's trunk. Inside were two storm drain grates, police said, and a third grate was inside a city owned rolling trash bin.

Yvonne Galat, 51, and Luz Lopez, 34, both of New Haven, told police they'd been solicited to help someone they knew from the neighborhood in getting the grates to a local scrap metal yard, according to a news release from police.

Police are looking for the man they were with, who disappeared.

Galat and Lopez were charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit both.

Police returned the grates to the Department of Public Works and the BMW was towed because it was not registered, police said.

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