The 46-year old Andrew Modica had 17 prior arrests and was seen driving a stole Ford pickup truck according to police reports.
Other arrests include possession of drugs and criminal possession of a weapon.
Modica claimed he sold manhole covers weighing about 320 pounds and made out of cast-iron for about $30 each or for 15 cents per pound. He was using J-bars – tools used to lift the lids, as well a hydraulic jack.
Police had been watching out for Modica after linking him to the stolen vehicle and witnesses reported seeing him at some of the manhole heists in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
He even went as far as to put Connecticut license plates on the vehicle, but that raised suspensions of a local traffic agent who wrote down the vehicle’s identification number.
Modica had all the necessary equipment including a sign reading “Men at Work” and orange street cones. Reports state 30 lids went missing which cost about $200 each to replace. Modica however claims he is not responsible for stealing all 30 of them.