PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a bit of a manhole mystery.
More than two dozen manhole covers have vanished. It’s happened all over the City of Pittsburgh.
On top of the obvious safety risks of uncovered manholes, taxpayers will be left footing the bill to replace them.
About 30 of the missing manhole covers are in Riverview Park.
Anne Booz noticed the manhole and grate covers missing in the North Side park where she walks her dog.
“Families come here, and it could be a hazard for the children, anybody, the bike riders that use the bike lanes,” said Booz.
Police says the thefts happened sometime in the last few days, sometime at night, and mostly on the North Side, but a few are scattered around the city.
The manhole covers and grates are heavy, up to 100 pounds. They are stolen for scrap, a few cents a pound, but the replacement cost is tens of thousands of dollars.
A year ago, someone snatched more than 50 City of Pittsburgh garbage cans off the streets and tried to sell them for scrap. The replacement cost was $200,000.
That person was caught, arrested and prosecuted by Pittsburgh police. Detectives are looking for the same type of suspect this time.
“Somebody that really, in my opinion, is now real smart, not real bright, and somebody who is desperate,” said Rob Kaczeroski, of Pittsburgh Public Works.
With so many thefts and the replacement cost so high, whoever police arrest, they’re going to charge them with felonies. KDKA’s Marty Griffin is also told that they will go after the scrap yards for accepting stolen property.
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