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South Suburban Police Investigating Missing Manhole Covers

(CBS) -- A new danger on the road is pushing drivers to swerve in the south suburbs.
The culprit? A thief stealing manhole covers.

CBS 2's Pamela Jones reports deep holes in the road are surfacing all over the south suburbs where the grates for street drains should be.

"A citizen alerted our public works department that they observed a manhole cover missing. Our public works personnel went to the locations and discovered several, actually, manhole covers missing," said Flossmoor Deputy Chief Tod Kamleiter.

Flossmoor police say nine covers have been plucked from the ground, swiped sometime between late Monday night and Tuesday.

It is a hazard Flossmoor neighbor Brent Hopper says he'd hate to run into with his classic Rolls Royce.

"It's constant. It seems like kids and scrappers and what have you. And it seems to happen a little bit more after the scrappers go around," Hopper said.

Crews have replaced the manholes in Flossmoor, but in Chicago Heights, police pointed us to a string of missing covers along Joe Orr Road.

Investigators believe someone is selling them as scrap metal to recyclers.
Police say if you drive over a hole where a cover is missing, it could cost you several hundreds of dollars in repairs and you could get hurt or worse.

Police believe thieves also grabbed grates in Olympia Fields and Hazelcrest. If you see a missing one, or know anything about the thefts, call 911.

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