Two students arrested in alleged manhole cover theft

Two Tech students were arrested Tuesday night for stealing manhole covers on Merritts Avenue at the Centennial Place Apartments neighborhood of campus. Along with that manhole cover, two others were also missing along Hunnicutt St. near Luckie St., both located slightly south of Tech’s campus.

Located right of of the North Avenue Apartments bus stop, maintenance and the Atlanta Police Department discovered the missing covers Tuesday afternoon after a Tech student nearly stepped into a coverless manhole. The student contacted 11Alive News, who then notified apartment management and the City of Atlanta’s Watershed Management Department concerning the missing covers. According to an interview with Tom Abrahmson, second-year MGT, done by 11Alive News, the covers had been missing for days before, and had caused Abrahmson himself to almost step into the hole.

After being alerted by the 11Alive News team, the Centennial Place apartment complex managers sent a maintenance crew to fix the problem, despite it being the city of Atlanta’s responsibility. Although the apartment managers had covered up the holes, Atlanta police department later investigated the area under suspicions of theft. When the Watershed Management Department, who is responsible for the covers, replaced the manhole covers, the police had noti$ed them that the original covers were located.

Despite the suspicion that the manhole covers were stolen for their metal, police determined that the covers could have been recovered and that it was a less serious matter than that. Although Atlanta police has recognized the increase in copper and metal thefts in the last few months, they noted that this was likely not such a crime, due to the inefficiency and lack of monetary turnover for manhole covers.

Later that afternoon, police were called to Centennial Place, after apartment maintenance workers spotted one of the missing manholes in the apartment of two Tech students, after one had placed a phone call concerning a problem in the apartment. Along with the missing manhole cover, police later recovered a stolen park bench and a pedestrian sign as well. Police arrested them later that night.

Thee names of the two students have yet to be released, but police did say that the pair lived only 100 feet away from where the manholes were missing. Although their alibi is still not known, the two students were sent to Fulton County jail immediately after their arrest. In addition to their night in jail, the pair also may face future charges including theft by receiving stolen property and reckless conduct.