, Salem, MA

Local News

July 3, 2013

Manhole-cover thefts inspire renewed legal effort


Chayet said the law would have treated scrap buyers “sort of like pawn shops,” requiring that sellers provide names and records. They would be asked what seems an obvious question: “How did you come by a manhole cover?”

While praising the work of the police — “The Salem Police did a terrific job for us” — Chayet also suggested that state police could employ sting operations to catch metal thieves. The recent spate of thefts has made him determined to return to the Legislature and try again to pass a law.

“This time we’ll keep an even closer eye on it,” Chayet said. “How about if we get this thing passed this year?”

Staff writer Alan Burke can be reached at

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