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Pedestrians beware: drain-cover thefts leaving holes in streets

A storm drain like the ones being stolen off Vancouver streets.

Ken Armstrong/The Globe and Mail

Vancouver police say people are in danger of falling into gaping holes in city streets because metal thieves are stealing storm-drain covers.

Police say more than 100 grates have been stolen since June, and pedestrians, particularly those walking at night in the rain, run the risk of blindly stepping into holes that can be up to two meters deep.

They say cyclists and motorists could also be hurt.

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Vancouver officials say each cover costs the city $176, while the thieves get about $14 on the scrap metal market.

The thefts are occurring throughout the city and so far have cost Vancouver more than $19,000.

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