Officials with the Con Edison utility company said thieves have been targeting New York City manhole, or maintenance hole, covers for the value of their scrap metal, and leaving dangerous holes on area roads and sidewalks.
Since March, more than 30 manhole covers have been reported stolen in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, The New York Times reported.
According to the publication, the covers weigh as much as 300 pounds and bear the utility's distinctive markings.
"There seems to be a trend or a spate of incidents that seems to be happening at an alarming rate now," Michael Clendenin, a spokesman for Con Ed, told The Times. "I can’t imagine people are decorating their living rooms with them."
Utility officials said the stolen covers could only fetch about $30, based on current prices for iron, However, Con Ed said it costs them about $200 to replace each one -- plus labor.
The Times reported that investigators for the utility are scouring city scrap dealers to track down the culprit(s).
Con Ed said it maintains more than 200,000 manholes in its network around the Big Apple.
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