The theft of drain covers in Nottinghamshire risks causing a serious accident, officials have said.
About 40 grates have been stolen across the Mansfield area in recent weeks, centred on Pleasley and Mansfield Woodhouse.
Mansfield District Council said this left holes up to 1m deep in roads and these could damage vehicles or cause a crash.
It is believed the covers are being taken for their scrap value.
The council said it was working with police to try to catch the culprits and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
The covers cost about £200 each to replace, officials added.