PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A local legislator plans on introducing a bill that would make stealing manhole covers a felony.
Senator Paul Jabour (D-District 5), says he plans to file the bill in the next legislative session. It would make the theft of a manhole or electrical utility cover a felony offense.
Jabour says he was motivated by an increase in the number of covers being stolen, particularly in Providence, over the last several years.
William Bombard, Acting Director of the Providence Department of Public Works, says more than 200 manhole covers have gone missing over the last few years, with dozens of them vanishing in just the last several months. Each of those covers is about $250, and the cost to the city adds up despite the fact that selling one for scrap metal would yield only about $20.
Jabor says the bill would deter stealing the covers and help prevent threats to public safety that arise from missing manhole covers.
Meanwhile, the city is including a prominent Providence logo on all the replacement manhole covers it is manufacturing to try to make it harder to sell them for scrap.
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