And then there were the missing manhole covers.
Hundreds of them were stolen from streets around the world. The first reports came from Taiwan in 2003 and later London, where it was dubbed the "Great Drain Robbery." Chicago had to replace at least 150 manhole lids or grates in 2005.
No Berlusconi-Day in Italy
Thieves were selling them to shady scrap metal dealers, who were cashing in on China's ravenous demand for steel for skyscrapers in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities. China's construction boom was literally being felt on the streets around the world.Image: This Aug. 18, 2009 file photo shows a woman rinsing rice in a pot as others sort garbage at a trash recycling center in Beijing, China. For China, this decade was a time when the massive nation began to reshape the world in both basic and big ways.