Manhole Cover Thefts in Merced County

July 26th, 2012

According to the Merced Sun-Star, cities in Merced County have been hit with a rash of manhole cover thefts over the past few weeks.

At least 21 manhole covers were stolen in Merced, with more stolen in neighboring cities. Authorities believe that the cast-iron manhole covers are being sold to recycling companies for about $20 – $30 each.

“It’s a new trend,” Neighboring Atwater’s streets manager, Eric Sorenson, was quoted in the Merced Sun-Star. “With the economy the way it is, people are trying to steal whatever they can sell.”

With the cost of manhole covers at $120 to $350 each, these thefts are costing the cities while also putting citizens at risk of injury since some manholes drop down 20 feet, according to Sorensen.

There are secure manhole cover options, though some can be expensive. People are asked to contact authorities if they witness suspicious activity or believe someone may be trying to steal manhole covers.