Thieves Vandalizing Fire Hydrants
Something police have seen more of lately is thieves stealing pieces of metal, particularly from fire hydrants.
Our Lauren Kendrick spoke to law enforcement about the possible dangers of this new trend.
"Detectives who are assigned to crimes against property are seeing a rash of fire hydrant water meters being stolen."
This is video of a man breaking off the part of a fire hydrant located on mines road. Police say he parked his truck on the side of the road pretending to work on it and proceeded to vandalize the hydrant.
"Basically, it's a large piece of copper...it's a large meter that goes on top of the fire hydrant and basically they go and sell it."
Baeza says it's easy to steal and even easier to break apart and sell.
"They're quite expensive. each one is $1,500 and up until now there's been 20 reports in total."
But it's not just the vandalism law enforcement is worried about. We talked to Fire Captain Eloy Vega about the danger this could cause when trying to put out a fire.
"Stripping the bolt that we need to open or shut the hydrant that could definitely cause a delay in delivering water."
The fire captain shows us how the cap of a hose needs to fit and what issues could come up if the hydrant is tampered with.
"Or damage the threads. When we come in to put a coupling of the hose, it may not fit the way it should causing a leak affecting the water supply."
Vega says those people just trying to make a quick buck by selling this piece of metal need to think about the consequences.
"They're not thinking that the damage that they're causing to it can affect somebody down the line in the event of a fire."
Since time is crucial when trying to put out a fire, Vega says the hydrants that are not working are painted white which makes it easy to spot them.