Three Face Charges for Stealing Manhole Covers

Cast iron covers not worth much, officials say

By Matt Bartosik
|  Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Considering the cast iron covers can weigh over 100 pounds, stealing them is a heavy offense.

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A famous question during job interviews is, "Why are manhole covers round?" Perhaps the better question is "Why are manhole covers missing?"

Two men and one woman, all from Lake Zurich, were charged August 4 with enhanced theft after allegedly stealing more than 20 manhole covers in the area, according to Trib Local.

Considering the cast iron covers can weigh over 100 pounds, their crime was a heavy offense.

Police found Ruth M. Driscoll, 21; Timothy E. Munts, 22; and Craig R. Scarton, 25; hiding inside a parked Toyota Camry owned by Driscoll. In the trunk were five manhole covers.

Eighteen more were found in the suspects' homes.

So, back to the question at hand, why were 23 manhole covers missing?

The three thieves were likely hoping to sell the stolen metal at a scrap yard, police told the Daily Herald.

It is doubtful that any businesses would have accepted the items, but even if they had, the thieves wouldn't have gotten much compensation for their heavy lifting.

"Authorities estimate cast iron is worth 2 to 6 cents a pound," reports the Daily Herald. "So a manhole cover would net $1 to $6."

All that work for less than $200. Maybe they can get a job with the city, putting those manhole covers back. It'd probably pay just as much.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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