3 Nabbed for 'Treasure Hunt' in NYC's Putrid Sewers

'God knows what they were looking for': NY police commissioner
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2015 7:25 AM CDT
3 Nabbed for 'Treasure Hunt' in NYC's Putrid Sewers
What were they looking for?   (Shutterstock)

It helps to have friends in high places to get you into low places—in this case, the fetid NYC sewer system. A worker for the city's Department of Environmental Protection and two fellow treasure-hunters were arrested on trespassing and other charges early Thursday after residents in a quiet section of Brooklyn, accustomed to the NYPD mantra of "See something, say something" to combat crime, saw something. That something was the three men allegedly prying a cover off a manhole around 9:30pm Wednesday, then two of the men disappearing down into the sewers, the New York Times reports. Their goal: to use metal detectors to find "treasure" people had flushed or lost down the drain, an NYPD spokesman tells Reuters. "You don't just open a manhole cover like that and jump right in," one local tells the paper; another one adds, "It was like Indiana Jones in Brooklyn."

Cops nabbed 21-year-old Marquise Evans—a part-time worker with the DEP—on the street. The fumes were too overpowering for police to go after his alleged cohorts; Damion Nieves, 35, and 45-year-old David Hannibal emerged "sludged-covered" and without treasure just after midnight, per the Times. "God knows what they were looking for," NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton told reporters. "I know damn sure I wouldn't be crawling through the sewers of New York." The commissioner says there wasn't much that could have been done to prevent the determined men from infiltrating the ick. "We're not going to weld [the manhole covers] all shut," he says, per CBS New York. "Any idiot [who] wants to crawl below the streets unfortunately can do it by prying." The Times notes the covers can weigh as much as 195 pounds. (More New York City stories.)

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