Source: niznoz/Flickr

Con Edison issued a press release yesterday, informing New Yorkers that thieves have stolen more than 30 manhole covers in the last two months, leaving pedestrians and cars to deal with large gaping holes in the ground. They wrote:

Brazen thieves are endangering New Yorkers by stealing manhole covers at an alarming rate, and Con Edison is asking customers to help catch those responsible.

More than 30 manhole covers have been stolen in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx since early March, presumably by thieves selling the covers for scrap metal, and leaving lethal holes in streets and sidewalks. Con Edison is working closely with the NYPD on the problem.

“Stealing manhole covers is dangerous,” said Milovan Blair, Con Edison Vice President for Brooklyn-Queens Electric Operations.”Anyone who steals these covers creates a serious hazard for pedestrians and motorists.”

The company said witnesses have described individuals dressed in utility apparel, but without any Con Edison or other utility markings, prying open manhole covers using a car jack, loading the covers onto pick-up trucks, and then driving away.

The company said anyone who spots suspicious individuals working near manholes, or removing the covers, should call 911 immediately. They should also report any open manholes – even if they are barricaded – to Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED

According to the New York Times, 30 in two months is quite an alarming number given that, in a normal year, only two or three disappear. They also note that scrapper might get $30 from a dealer willing to take in obviously stolen goods, but Con Edison pays about $200 for the lids. The rise in costs, of course, are likely to be passed on to consumers.

One tipster, Auxil B., got in touch with Sheepshead Bites to let us know this scourge has already hit the neighborhood. A manhole cover recently went missing on East 28th Street, between Avenue V and Avenue W.

 

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  • JR

    honestly who steals a manhole cover? and doesn’t anyone see this going on (unless its dark out then yeah okay but still, they’re heavy aren’t they?)

    • BrooklynBus

      According to Con Ed, they are dressed as utility workers and load them on a truck. And if they do it at 2 in the morning, who’s out there to see it?

  • ShadowLock

    can you get good prices for scrap metal?  like Silver?

  • Nomore

    Great another reason to raise rates.

  • Gene2T

    here goes our country , this is what bad economy does. Next thing will be wires, after that windshield wipers and after that mirrors and after that batteries and after that pipes..  ohh.. and gas will be stolen as well

    same thing happened in russia when USSR fell apart in the early 90s

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