As if manhole bandits weren’t enough, New York City has seen a spike in paper-recycling thievery. Department of Sanitation cops have busted 49 vehicles already this year for being vessels for mixed paper piracy; at the close of last year there had been only 40 such impounded vehicles. To blame for the sharp rise in paper crimes is the market for mixed paper recycling: two years ago a ton of the stuff would go for about $40.00, whereas today it’s closer to $120.00. “When you approach this value, it becomes a market for unsavory characters,” Hank Levin told reporters. Levin owns Pratt Industries, which handles 50% of the city’s curbside recycling pick up. Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said “The city is losing $10.00 per ton in revenue for each ton of paper stolen off our streets.” And why is mixed paper recycling suddenly so valuable? Probably because of the Kindle, the iPad, and all the other devices which have seen people turn their backs on newspapers and magazines. (Photo: Todd Lappin/Flickr)