PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island lawmaker says manhole cover theft should be made a felony following the disappearance of hundreds of covers in Providence.
State Sen. Paul Jabour said Friday he intends to submit legislation to increase penalties for the theft of manhole covers because of the danger created when manhole covers are taken.
Providence has seen nearly 250 manhole cover thefts so far this year. Authorities believe thieves take the heavy metal covers to sell as scrap metal. While the covers are worth only $20 as scrap, they cost hundreds of dollars to replace.
Jabour, a Democrat from Providence, says the number of thefts shows the state needs to treat the crime more seriously. He says people can be hurt or killed by falling into open manholes.