Thieves!!!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Stupid cops, I doubt they are stealing them for scrap metal. I figure its just a prank, or someones trying to create some business :D

    Score one for Buried Doublecheck land.
     
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Article says they are selling them for "dirty brass". I bet its a contractor salvaging the guts for repair parts (how many did you say you replaced this fall Danna?), then clean them up (remove the plastic, stainless and other non brass). Now the "trash" is worth double and you got a "free" repair kit too. That makes a stolen PVB worth maybe $20? Now if the valves are in good shape and can be salvaged as new, we up the anti by somewhere around +$40 more. So, in the middle of the night, you slip in cut two one inch copper lines and dissappear and you get $60 worth of parts and salvage. Plus, if your the right guy, you get to replace the device too!
     
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Actually Jon this has become quite a problem in our area. Just last week two farms had over $8k worth of 3" ag valves stolen for scrap purposes. There have also been numerous thefts of air vents and anything else that can be sold for scrapping out. There has also been repeated thievery of electrical cables at isolated pumps and transmission lines. About a month ago one thief got electrocuted when he pulled live wires he thought were disconnected. The major reason for the thefts in our area seem to be for druggies getting money for meth.
     
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    This guy's assessment is probably closer to what is actually occurring. :)
     
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Back when scrap was at all time highs a few years ago, this type of crime was common. Plumbing, copper down spouts, etc. Especially on empty buildings. With the drug problem what it is these days, anything is possible. On the flip side, I've heard of plumbers slipping into public restrooms to steel o-rings, etc. when they had to have a part late or on an evening or holiday call.
     
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    we have a huge scrap yard here just south of town, I can see something like that happening.
     
  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Few years ago in Houston area they would drive down the street, find the PVB mounted on copper in the parkways, throw a chain around the pipe and jerk it out of the ground with the truck. They'd get four or five in a row and leave the water blasting in the air.

    And back when aluminum was selling good, they were stealing aluminum irrigation pipe in the panhandle and plains areas. Farmers had to start engraving ID onto the pipe. The scrap dealers would buy it on the cheap, call the farmer, he'd come in and pay back the scrap dealer and take his pipe home. It was cheaper and quicker to pay a little bounty than it was to order new and file insurance. Scrapers made lots of friends of the farmers and the theives were turned in.

    Anybody losing any controllers? Either the whole thing or just the guts? It's a funny feeling to pull up on a property with a complaint that the plants a re dying. Open the box and the only thing there is cut transformer and zone wires.
     
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I just can't believe how far some people would go for things.
     
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I did have to replace a missing PVB once at a nursing home. But it was due to an angry ex-employee. Things like that screw up your schedule when you aren't expecting that kind of repair. I had to dig around and find the mainline as well since it was snapped off, and also clean out all the dirt. It was completely ripped out so it probably had a chain and car tear it out.

    Now the bad thing is I do have a bunch of copper and brass in the garage waiting to be turned in to the scrap place for a few bucks. I have put it off for weeks. Now I'm sure I'll get hassled when I go, until I show them all the PVBs and RPs with freeze damage.

    Oh, Ive thought about it when people haven't paid. But never did it. Especially one apartment complex.
     

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