Metal thieves in Roseville will have a much harder time selling stolen items, thanks to a new program launched by the City of Roseville.
Within the last several years, there has been in increase in metal thefts of utility- and private-owned water backflow devices, according to Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci, and the new water backflow painting program is designed to help deter those thefts.
With this new program, City-owned water backflow devices will be spray-painted a specific green color to make the devices more easily detected if stolen.
The average cost of replacing a water backflow device is about $1,500, according to Roccucci.
Water backflow devices are essential and required to prevent water contamination and if stolen, there is an opportunity for contamination to occur, according to Ed Kriz, Roseville water utility manager.
Since fall of 2010, approximately 100 city- and private-owned water backflow devices have been stolen, Kriz said, and this program is designed to discourage thieves. These thefts have amounted to approximately $136,500, according to the City.
Roseville Police Chief Daniel Hahn said the department is working toward attacking the metal thefts plague from prevention and enforcement sides — making it harder for thieves to steal these items and harder for them to sell them to recyclers for cash.
In addition to the thefts of water backflow devices, Roseville has seen thefts of catalytic converters, metal wiring and other metal thefts.
“It’s not just the cost to replace those items, it’s also the stress of replacing those items,” Hahn said.
This City-effort comes shortly after two bills were recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown, that tightened existing laws to help make it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen metal.
City-owned water backflow devices will be painted green, and residents and business owners are encouraged to also paint their devices as a theft-prevention measure. Painted metal will help determine who the victim was and where it was stolen, Hahn said.
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