It is becoming all to common in cities around the country. Thieves are targeting valuable backflow prevention devices to steal and sell for scrap metal. Recently, in a report by the San Diego Union Tribune a 47-year-old Vista man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a wave of brass plumbing device thefts reported across North County.
“Most of the backflow devices were stolen from businesses that were forced to shut down while repairs were made. The thefts caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage,” police Lt. Neal Griffin said.
In response to the more than 40 backflow thefts in since January North County agencies are working together to crack down on thieves and the recycling businesses that pay them.
“It’s frustrating when someone walks in with a $1,000 backflow and wants to sell it for $100 of scrap metal,” Griffin said. “It’s pretty clear that’s stolen property, and we expect a call (from recyclers.)”