Copper Thieves Target Water Pipes

Thieves pulled out three water meters along with copper piping


The price of copper and other valuable metals attracted some thieves to water meters in Encanto early Thursday.

It's a rare occurrence, according to a spokesperson with the city’s water department and it's causing a hassle now for people on Madron Street.

Just after midnight, water shot out of two breaks in the line after thieves broke off the brass water meter and copper pipes.

The pipes, sold as scrap metal, can be worth quite a bit of money.

Even though the water department said copper thefts have not been prevalent in San Diego like in other cities, the man who first alerted authorities to the water spraying all over said the same theft happened to him a few years ago.

He's surprised that anyone would do this.

“I don't even think it’s a couple of hundred bucks,” said Randall Gunner.

“It’s kind of crazy that someone would go through the trouble.”

When police officers first responded, they searched the area for someone soaking wet, Gunner said.

The water department is now in the process of replacing all three water meters as well as some of the copper piping on the city side of the connections.

That will cost about $600.

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