Thieves steal useful metal - from copper wire to iron manhole covers - and bring them to metal recyclers for a small cash payout. While cities try to crack down on recyclers, thieves find ways around these measures. (Video: man attempts to steal a manhole cover and comically falls into the resulting hole)
Metals and Plastics are formed by heating them to a melt, placing them into a mold (usually by injection), and then cooling them to a solid again. This is similar to melting ice cubes to water, placing the water in a different tray, and freezing it again. These materials can be melted again as well.
Formed through an irreversible curing reaction, compression molded thermoset resins are heated under extremely high pressure in a mold, while the material fills the mold. After the molecular reaction, a completed part is finished and cannot be returned to its former liquid state - much like boiling an egg.
While solving corrosion and relieving hazardous lifting are the most prominent reasons for cities to start using composite covers, one large Texas city cited theft of iron covers as their main driver.
"There seems to be a trend or a spate of incidents that seems to be happening at an alarming rate now,”
- Michael Clendenin, a spokesman for Con Ed.
The New York Times
Theft Cost Added To Initial Cover Price Tag?
Do you amortize replacement covers, installation, tack welding, special locks, and insurance costs on top of the price tag for your iron covers and frames? Some estimate this amounts to several hundred dollars. Composites represent the most cost effective infrastructure solution for limited municipal budgets.
Jace Larson of Channel 2 News in Houston reports that Manhole Cover theft "cost taxpayers $126,000" in 11 months
San Antonio Channel 12 News reported theft trend costing the city thousands and documented an actual theft, in-process, with video footage.
Terrific story from Cleveland describes a rare success for officials who caught criminals and arrested them for this theft.
13,000 lbs of iron taken from remote location in Poinciano, FL. Authorities will have city logos stamped on future covers, but is that enough?
Holes left from iron cover theft endangering children around school and park.
Mexico City spends $30,000,000 pesos in 3 years for replacements due city's manhole cover theft ($2,000,000 USD). This does not account for installation, administration, traffic, injuiries, and other associated costs.
If thieves cannot sell the covers, they will not steal the covers....Si los ladrones no pueden vender, no van a robar!
Watch Video Report about Stolen Iron Manhole Covers in Bogota, Colombia
Vea este Video Reportaje sobre Colombia y tapas robadas.
If you are interested in seeing more stories about manhole cover theft for scrap metal, CAP gives you the link to over 100 videos from local newscasts in the USA and around the world.