Just the cover charge
Is perhaps what Chico Marx may have said he'd pay to get these things back.
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, NIF, Third World County,
INDIANAPOLIS - Thieves have made off with dozens of hefty manhole covers and sewer grates in the last few days, leaving gaping holes scattered in streets across the city.
City officials believe the high price of scrap metal is spurring the thefts and have been warning area scrap yards not to buy any manhole covers they might be offered.
Crews worked Monday to put up warning barriers for the holes once protected by the covers, which can weigh about 300 pounds.
"This is a severe public safety hazard we have here," said Margie Smith-Simmons, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Public Works. "These manholes range in depth from 4 feet to 30 feet deep."
She said the profit motive for such thefts has escalated over the past two years as the price for a ton of scrap steel has gone from about $70 to $300.
While a thief would need to steal about 10 manhole covers to gather a ton of scrap steel, their replacements can cost the city from $300 to $2,000.
"Very tough, very time consuming, very expensive," Ronnie Sanders, a city public works project manager, said of replacing the covers. "It's taxpayer dollars going out the window."