Police arrested five men accused of removing nine sewer grates around Newburyport early Sunday morning, according to police.
The men, all 21, are from Newburyport, Salisbury, and Kingston, N.H., and were charged with nine counts of vandalism each, according to police spokesman John Guilfoil.
At about 1 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a report that a group of men had stolen a sewer grate on Purchase Street near Franklin Street. Police found the men in a home on Purchase Street. Police said grates were taken from Fair Street, Orange Street, Federal Street, Atwood Street, and Lime Street, as well as Purchase Street. Several of the grates had been dropped into the holes they had been covering.
Alcohol appears to have been a factor, police said.
City officials have covered the holes left by the vandalism with orange cones and plywood until the grates can be replaced.