Man caught with nearly 4 tons of stolen sewer lids in pickup truck, cops say

Lashawn Powell | CPD

A Chicago man is facing felony theft charges after police allegedly found him hauling $14,263 worth of stolen sewer lids in the back of his pickup truck Thanksgiving morning on the West Side.

Lashawn Powell, 52, admitted that his friend pays him to collect the sewer lids from city streets so he can sell them to scrapyards, prosecutors said.

Cops responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle carrying stolen sewer lids in the Garfield Park neighborhood around 4:55 a.m. Thursday. It wasn’t long before they spotted Powell allegedly driving around with 31 manhole covers in his truck bed.

In case you’re wondering, sewer lids weigh about 249 pounds each, according to Wikipedia. So, 31 lids would weigh about 7,700 pounds. The city values them at $460 each, prosecutors said during Powell’s bond court hearing Friday.

Powell is charged with felony theft and driving on a suspended license.

After reviewing the allegations against Powell, Judge Susana Ortiz rattled off several factors she considered while settling on his bail amount.

“Most importantly,” she said, is “the danger that it creates, removing sewer covers from the street. Heaven forbid someone should fall into an open sewer.”

She then released him on his own recognizance with electronic monitoring.

Powell has eight felony convictions, including thefts, burglaries, and a robbery dating back to 1990.

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