Police report flood of thefts of metal rich backflow preventers

Brdenton HeraldAugust 10, 2011 

MANATEE -- About 18 months ago a run of thefts on backflow preventers had the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office handing out advice to homeowners on how to protect them.

Then, almost as quickly as the thefts started, they dwindled, said Randy Warren a sheriff’s office spokesman.

Now, it appears, the theft of these scrap metal-rich devices, required by modern building codes to prevent sewage or waste water from backing up from homes and businesses into county and city waterlines, may be back again.

On Tuesday, three victims who live in the ironically named Copperfield subdivision in the 3800 block of 78th Avenue Circle East and the 7800 block of 38th Court East had their backflow preventers stolen, either for the copper and brass inside them or, perhaps, to be resold, Warren said.

Also, either late Monday or early Tuesday, five backflow preventers were stolen from a shopping plaza at 11535 Palmbrush Trail in Lakewood Ranch, impacting the AAA office, Luxury Nail and Spa and UPS, according to a sheriff’s office report.

Backflow preventers are attractive to thieves because they usually are unprotected, outside, at the street, near the water meter. Secondly, they can be sold either for the metal inside them or to be reused, Warren said.

Read the complete story at bradenton.com

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service