Pair accused of stealing manhole covers, storm grate

BETHEL TWP., Pa. - An alleged attempt to steal manhole covers has landed two men behind bars.

A Bethel Township police officer said he responded late Wednesday morning to the report of suspicious activity in the 300 block of Brown Road.

The officer said he came across two men and a pickup truck parked next to a fenced-in sewer station.

The fence had been cut, and three manhole covers and a storm grate had been placed in the truck's bed, according to the police criminal complaint.

One of the men, identified as Steven David Zimmerman, told the officer that he was replacing the manhole covers for the township; the other man, Jamie Eugene Sites, said he was helping, according to the court paperwork.

The manager of the sewer station, however, told the officer that neither man was authorized to take the items.

Both men were charged with conspiracy - theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy - receiving stolen property. Zimmerman, 42, of Tremont Township, Schuylkill County, was committed to the Berks County Jail on $5,000 bail; bail for Sites, 50, of Bethel Township, was set at $10,000.

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