11/23/2012 03:19 EST | Updated 01/23/2013 05:12 EST

Drains left open by thieves stealing covers could gobble pedestrians: police

VANCOUVER - 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.

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.