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Man accused of stealing storm grates from Clearwater streets

CLEARWATER — Officers arrested a man Thursday accused of stealing storm grates from the streets, police said.

"Call this one a case of 'grate' police work," said Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw.

Last month, five storm grates, which cost the city $300 apiece and weigh about 100 pounds each, were stolen throughout Clearwater.

Johnathan Ray Lee, 31, tried selling the grates, valued at about $9 at recycling businesses for their cast iron, but could not prove he had legal ownership of them, police said.

He was arrested on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

Lee was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he remained Friday afternoon in lieu of $12,000 bail.