The grates, which weigh over 100 pounds each, cover drains that often have a drop of more than 10 feet. When a drain cover is stolen it leaves a hole that would be easy for children, animals or even grown adults to fall in.
Officials are also concerned that motorists pulling over could damage their vehicles by driving into an uncovered storm drain.
Drain covers have been stolen from the St. Andrews Plantation, Stonegate and Caveness Farms subdivisions.
Although the storm drains only fetch $15-20 when sold for scrap metal, replacing the grates costs the town hundreds of dollars each.
Crews are using cones to identify the open storm drains out of concern for public safety and will replace the missing grates as fast as possible. In the meantime, residents are urged not to move or disturb the cones.
Anyone who witnesses someone attempting to remove a storm drain grate is encouraged to call the Wake Forest Police Department at (919) 554-6150.