They've finally admitted that there's no security on these manholes.
I have a manhole cover hook (J hook) and before I got that I was pulling up manhole covers with a pair of big screwdrivers. And a standard crowbar means you can do it safely. BTW, this was part of my job at the time, so it was legitimate. A white van, a flashing barrier, a couple of traffic cones, coveralls and a hard hat, and nobody would say anything.
If they'd spent $250,000. on real security....
BTW, if this should happen to you, it's really useful to know who your local ham operator is- we can communicate without that infrastructure. http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_12115324