Salt from grit bins in Walsall and Bloxwich is being stolen and then offered to residents to clear their driveways, say council transport chiefs.
As the big freeze continues to hit the borough, residents in north Bloxwich have reported the theft to Walsall Council and the police.
Residents living in the area have reported seeing young people aged around 18 to 20 stealing grit and then offering to clear icy driveways for a fee.
Several homes were approached in the Stoney Lane and Ambergate Close areas yesterday, (Monday 21 January 2013).
But Councillor Tom Ansell, portfolio holder for transport and the environment at Walsall Council Coalition said that grit bins are provided for highways only and appealed for residents to contact West Midlands Police.
“This has happened before and it amazes me that people will use this opportunity to make a few bob. Make no mistake about it. This is theft and people who are caught will be prosecuted.
“We’ve had problems with grit being taken from roadside bins over the past few days. We refilled our grit bins only the other day but it looks as if we’re having to do it again.
“It costs us £100 a time to refill one bin.
“We have a zero tolerance of theft and are asking people to be vigilant and pass on any information of grit thefts to West Midlands Police.”
Grit bins are installed across the borough at critical points close to hills and sharp bends.
To report incidents of grit theft call West Midlands Police on 101.