NEW YORK—Con Edison officials on Thursday warned the public: “Brazen thieves are endangering New Yorkers by stealing manhole covers at an alarming rate.”
The statement encourages New Yorkers to assist the utility company by reporting thieves. The problem has been happening since early March.
“Stealing manhole covers is dangerous,” said Milovan Blair, Con Edison vice president for Brooklyn-Queens electric operations, in the statement. “Anyone who steals these covers creates a serious hazard for pedestrians and motorists.”
Open holes can be dangerous for both cars and pedestrians.
Witnesses have seen people dressed in general utility apparel that doesn’t have any specific company markings, using car jacks and pickup trucks to steal the covers.
It isn’t just occurring in New York City. A report from Newhouse Communications Center of Syracuse University published an article on March 28 saying that Utica police are looking into several missing manhole covers.
Both Con Edison and Utica officials suspect the thieves of selling the covers for scrap metal.
New manhole covers cost about $400, according to NCC.
Con Edison asks that if you spot someone suspicious working near a manhole, or removing the cover, call 911. They also ask that open manholes be reported to Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED.