FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2014
POINT OF CONTACT: Lt Neal Griffin, 760-839-4444
Over the course of the last six weeks, the Escondido Police Department has received more than two dozen reports of the theft of backflow valves, irrigation valves and other copper and brass items from businesses in the industrial area west of Interstate-15.
It is likely the thieves are stealing these items in order to recycle them, as metal prices remain high. The Escondido Police Department would like to offer the following theft-prevention tips, particularly to combat the theft of water backflow valves:
- Install a locked fence or “cage” around the backflow device.
- Coat the valve with an epoxy-based paint, which makes the metal un-recyclable. (Pre-painted valves are also sold.)
- Etch your business name and/or address into the metal to make identification possible in the event of a theft.
It is also a good idea for any business to install security lighting and video surveillance equipment, and cut back landscaping that provides thieves with a place to hide during their crimes. The theft of recyclable metals is a costly crime, since the damage done by thieves and replacement costs far outweigh the value of the actual materials that are stolen.
Residents are urged to contact police if they see suspicious activity in and around closed businesses.