Many councils have been hit with bills worth more than £86,000 to replace valuable metal stolen from Teesside streets.
Manhole covers, bins, benches and streetlight cables have all be en taken illegally.
“The police cannot stress highly enough the extreme dangers involved in this type of offence,” a spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said.
“Metal is not only being stolen when it is unattended awaiting to be fitted or used, but also when it is actually fitted and fixed in place and established as part of its intended use.
“There have also been a few isolated incidents of extreme danger stemming from metal thefts whereby copper gas piping has been stolen from boilers in houses.”