Police say thieves have made off with more than 40 grates, or covers, mainly in the Somersett area of northwest Reno since August.
Investigators say the 175-pound grates cost the city $195 each, and the total loss exceeds $8,000 at this time.
Police say the grates are made of cast iron, and are possibly being sold to scrap yards by thieves.
Nevada has the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 13.4 percent.
The theft of grates creates an opening in the ground, large enough for a person to fall through.