Clearwater Police detectives arrested a man this week and charged him in the theft of storm grates owned by Clearwater’s Storm Water Department.
Johnathan Ray Lee, 31, was arrested Thursday. He is being held in the Pinellas County Jail on one count of grand theft and one count of dealing in stolen property.
Lee is accused of stealing five storm grates from city streets last month. The grates weigh approximately 100 pounds each and cost the city $300 apiece. Made of cast iron, they are worth about $9 at local recycling businesses.
When Lee tried to sell the grates at a recycler, they asked him for a letter to prove he had legal ownership of them. He couldn’t produce the required letter and left, but returned a second time trying to sell them again.
The recycling business assisted in the investigation leading to the identification and arrest of Lee.