Article and pictures are from Birmingham Mail.net - we'll be in touch with the paper and also the council to suggest they consider replacing with composite covers.
If it happens in your area , why not contact the council and suggest composite covers ? Riders and all other road users are safer - and they save money on further metal replacements ! Surely this is better than using resources on a specialist police team ? Though obviously there are other metal thefts on the increase.
"METAL thieves have been putting lives at risk by stealing more than 900 manhole covers in just six months from Birmingham streets.
The thefts netted crooks less than s8,000 from scrap dealers, but cost the taxpayer s300 each to replace adding up to a staggering s270,000.
At the peak of the thefts last summer 124 manhole covers disappeared in just two weeks.
Most were taken from across north and central Birmingham, including Hodge Hill, Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and Ladywood.
But the council has also been hit by s45,000 of raids on empty council houses in Selly Oak, Northfield, Hall Green and Edgbaston where crooks have stripped out boilers, piping and wiring.
The full scale of metal thefts can be revealed in the same week brazen crooks posed as city workmen to steal street signs from under the noses of unsuspecting homeowners in Great Barr
The crisis will be discussed later this week by the citys Public Protection Committee.
Committee chairman, Councillor Neil Eustace (Stechford and Yardley North, Lib Dem), is now calling for metal thieves to face prison sentences.
I want to see some of these people sent to jail. I think that will send a very clear message, he said.
Some of the laws are ancient and have just not kept up with the pace of what is happening.
They are clearly getting organised and unfortunately it attracts the kind of people who are too lazy to do a proper days work.
They would rather skive, steal and put people in danger for a quick buck and its not even a big buck.
My message to them is that we are coming after you.
We have been pretty effective when we have clamped down on this with our partners at West Midlands Police and we will be working with them again to go after these people.
Its totally unacceptable and the real loser is the public.
He added: This is one of the first times that we have collated all this information and its clear that it is costing the city a hell of a lot of money.
The figures are frightening, but its the dangers that are really concerning me.
The theft of manhole covers is potentially lethal for drivers, motorcycle riders and pedestrians, particularly at this time of year and at night.
In January, the Government announced plans to end cash payments at scrapyards in an attempt to stem the wave of metal thefts across the country.
A report also revealed that West Midlands Police is exploring funding options for the formation of a dedicated metal thefts police team.
The force reported 2,600 metal thefts in 2008/9, valued at s6,265,793.
But in the past year there were 17,107 of the crimes, worth s27,763,246.