Thieves in two South Texas cities have been taking something unusual: storm drain covers.
Pharr has had 35 inlet and storm drain covers stolen over the past week.
In nearby Brownsville, officials have reported 62 missing inlet covers and one manhole cover.
Grace Segovia, Pharr's environmental education coordinator, told the Monitor of McAllen that usually only one or two such covers are stolen a month.
Pharr is having to pay between $10,000 and $18,000 to replace the stolen covers.
Officials say the steel from the covers is often resold to local metal companies. But they haven't identified any that might have received metal from this rash of thefts.
The covers have been replaced quickly, but officials say the thefts represent a potential danger to drivers and to flood control.