Maine man charged with stealing 5 city-owned sewer grates

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MANCHESTER, NH – A Maine man is accused of stealing five sewer grates from Manchester.

Sgt. John Cunningham was on patrol at 7:20 p.m. Aug. 4 when he observed a vehicle parked illegally in the alley located south of Laurel Street at Maple Street. He noticed two men near the vehicle and he asked them to move the illegally parked truck. The men complied as the sergeant drove away.

Dispatch received a complaint approximately 7:30 p.m. about a suspicious vehicle in the area of Laurel Street and Maple Street. Dispatch was told the suspect vehicle, an older model pick-up truck with a cap and ladder racks, may have been involved in stealing several sewer grates from the area. The sewer grates had been placed on the side of the road due to recent construction on Maple Street.

The vehicle matched the description of the pick-up truck Sgt. Cunningham stopped 10 minutes earlier. He searched the area and finally located the truck at 9 p.m. in front of 875 Elm St. The vehicle was parked legally, and no one was inside when the Sgt. Cunningham approached it.

He shined a flashlight in the back of the bed and noticed several sewer grates. A man later identified as Spiro Paras, 50, of York, Maine, approached the officer as he checked out the contents inside of the pick-up bed. Sgt. Cunningham determined Paras did not have permission from the City of Manchester to possess the five city-owned sewer grates, so he was placed into custody without incident.

Paras was charged with theft by unauthorized taking and released on $1,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on September 8, 2017.