According to New Boston Police Capt. Steve Goins, five steel sewer covers were stolen from two village flood pump stations near the flood wall during the weekend of Aug. 20-21.
The covers are large steel plates that cover the holes around the pump station trash screens, and they weight about 200 pounds each. They each cover holes that are 15-20 feet deep.
After noticing they were missing, Village Administrator Steve Hamilton went looking to see if they had been turned it at any of the local salvage yards. He found them Aug. 23 at B&B Recycling on Fourth Street in Portsmouth. The scrap yard’s records linked the covers to Christopher Eldridge, 27, of Portsmouth — who had collected $43 for the scrap metal.
The cost to replace the covers is $1,300, Goins said.
Police were notified and were looking for Eldridge, when they found him Aug. 26 driving a pickup truck filled with scrap metal from the former coke plant property. He was charged with theft and criminal trespassing for taking scrap from the coke plant, and he was charged with receiving stolen property for the sewer covers he had turned it for scrap.
“In his interview, he acknowledged being over there in that area of the flood wall. He said they was supposedly laying on the ground. And they were, but they were covering holes. He didn’t think it was stealing,” Goins said.
After being booked and interviewed at the New Boston Police Department, Eldridge was taken to the Scioto County Jail in Portsmouth. Goins said it was later discovered Eldridge was already on probation from the Portsmouth Municipal Court, and he will face additional charges of probation violation.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org.