Copper Thieves Getting Desperate, Police Say

Expensive irrigation valves taken, thieves allegedly bypassed anti-theft measure in one case.

At least two more thefts of copper water valves have occurred in Glendora, most likely overnight, as police continue to work to apprehend suspects.

One of the most recent thefts happened at , 1350 E. Route 66, the second at an apartment complex on the corner of S. Elwood Avenue and Route 66, police said. In both cases, thieves shut the water off to the valves and used a reciprocating saw to chop them off, said Lt. Jamie Caldwell of Glendora Police.

"They cut the copper pipe and it's probably a one-and-a-half-inch copper pipe. They're worth quite a bit of money," Caldwell said.

In some cases, to combat these thefts, metal cages will be fixed to the area the valves are attached to prevent access, but at the apartment complex the thieves simply cut the locks to the cage and removed the valve.

"There was actually was a cage over it and they cut the locks to the cage," Caldwell said. "These guys are desperate."

Anywhere from six to eight copper thefts have occurred in the past two weeks, Caldwell said, just during his shift alone.

One of the most brazen in recent memory was the theft of around 200 pounds of from light poles at about two weeks ago. Thieves reportedly caused $7,000 in damage.

So far, there are no descriptions of suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call Glendora Police at (626) 914-8250.

Virgil January 26, 2012 at 08:44 PM
@ Tyler.....it is the street cop, not the supervisor in the station, that does the hands on police work. Give credit where it is due. Lieutenants supervise and direct, Police Officers do the dirty work of protecting life and property. @ Daniel... I know where you are coming from but in this case it is pretty presumptive on your part. Until the thieves are known, and from where they hail, can we draw conclusions.
Jack January 30, 2012 at 04:07 AM
The scrap yards should also be held responsible, they should not be allowed to accept stolen goods and give thieves money in return. Plan cooper pipe has no serial numbers, but all backflow valves and some pressure regulating valves have serial numbers. Scrap yards should be forced to first check the property to see if it has been reported stolen, and request ID from the individual before they hand money over to them. But who knows how honest the scrap yards are.
Janek January 30, 2012 at 07:28 AM
I agree. Some parts of Glendora which were once nice ten years ago are now turning into an armpit. It is being done by design though. Lower the value so people move out, and a new crop of residents will emerge, those with overflowing pockets of cash from mainland China. This appears to be the new way to viability for cities who are concerned about future pension payout. City manager $200k, police chief $150k, etc. Glendora will be the next Temple City with McMansions everywhere and the city council will get bribed up the yinyang (pun intended) bypassing residential codes. Its win-win-win since the new residents need a huge house and no outdoor living space, the city council will get their under the table payola, and the city's coffers will be full again from the new inflow of prop taxes. I give Glendora ten years and It will be just like TC.
brenda page February 19, 2012 at 06:39 AM
not understanding what are they taking curb stop or backflow valves and there using a saw what happing copper cutter well it takes to people to do this that a lot of work for what you get.there not thinking you get more money from a water meter cause there all copper .
Ian February 19, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Jack, I'd hazard a guess that scrap yard owners are about as honest and ethical as real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and used car salespeople.


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