parking_meter050215

The stolen parking meters were lopped right off their poles, police say. (CBC)

The Saint John Police Force is investigating a recent string of parking meter thefts in the uptown area.

Nineteen meters have disappeared from Sydney and Charlotte streets since Jan. 19, including five last weekend alone, says Sgt. Jay Henderson.

It's unclear how they're being removed or whether it's possible to get coins out of them, said Henderson.

"Whether they're being cut, or hack sawed or grinded, but they're being removed right from the pole, themselves," he said.

"At some point in time, I'm sure that the the meters will turn up somewhere, and I'm not sure if they're actually damaging them, or if there's a way that they can get into them by a key or that type of thing."

Police don't know for sure if the crimes are related, but it appears that way, said Henderson.

Officers are reviewing security video footage, hoping to catch the culprits in the act, he said.

The parking meters are worth about $650 each.