Thieves' Latest Target: Manhole Covers More than 30 have gone missing in New York By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted May 4, 2012 11:38 AM CDT 18 comments Comments A New York City manhole cover is seen in this file photo. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – A crime spree is tearing up the streets of New York—literally. More than 30 manhole covers have been stolen in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx in recent weeks, the New York Times reports, which is pretty startling, given that usually only two or three go missing all year. It "seems to be happening at an alarming rate now," says a spokesman for Consolidated Edison, which owns the covers. He assumes the covers are being sold for scrap metal since, he notes, "I can't imagine people are decorating their living rooms with them." Still, the covers are hardly easy to steal; some weigh as much as 300 pounds. Witnesses who saw one theft say the man was dressed in yellow "utility-type clothing" and used an automotive jack to pry the thing loose before hoisting it into a truck. In another case, the thief actually had an orange "Men at Work" sign in his truck. Based on current iron prices, the covers could sell for around $30 each, but replacing them costs Con Ed more than $200.