Metalheads! Thieves stealing antique gates off brownstone fences

Metalheads! Thieves stealing antique gates off brownstone fences
Community Newspaper Group / Joe Anuta

Call them heavy metal punks.

Cops say that thieves stole seven wrought-iron gates from the front of brownstones on President Street and Lincoln Place last week, leaving residents stunned at their gap-toothed front yards.

“I’ve never heard of [stealing] gates,” said victim Lisa Hoffman. “It’s very odd.”

But the thieves may be smarter than residents think.

Scrap iron only sells for six to 10 cents per pound. But many of the brownstones in the area are more than a century old, which makes the ornate iron fences valuable antiques.

“These gates have been here since the houses were built,” said Rosa Zimmerman, another victim. “It’s hard to find new ones. You don’t want to get another style.”

Zimmerman and her husband have been searching antique shops since the theft, and have been quoted prices of $800 for similar designs.

Detectives from the 78th Precinct have visited several scrap yards and antique dealers in the area to see if anyone had brought in any suspicious material. But the case is tougher than pig iron.

“We don’t know why they’re taking them,” a spokesman said.

Police recommend welding washers or brackets to the top of a gate’s hinges so burglars can’t simply lift them up and throw them into a truck.

The series of burglaries is the worst perimeter-related crime since the un-holy synagogue robbery of 2008, when an entire $15,000 fence was taken in Bensonhurst.