A THIEF with a penchant for stealing manhole covers to sell to scrapyards has been arrested in Elche.
The 43-year-old man removed around 100 covers this year with a total value of around €40,000.
The Elche Policia Local got several calls from people who spotted the man trying to prise away a cover with a hook on Calle Conrado del Campo in the city.
He helped himself to two covers, popped them into his car, and drove off before the police arrived.
Officers were determined to catch him with witnesses giving them a detailed description of his appearance- one of them even recording a phone video of the thief and his vehicle.
The police worked their way around scrapyards in the municipality to see where he tried to offload the stolen property.
One of the businesses confirmed that a man matching his description had tried to sell them the two stolen covers.
After monitoring various areas that he regularly was said to appear at, he was apprehended.
Police contacted the local water company, Aigues d’Elx, who supplied them with a list of manhole covers stolen this year and their records coincided with when the thief tried to sell them to scrapyards.
The police pointed out that besides the theft, the removal of covers posed potential danger to road users who would not be aware of a dangerous hole in the street.