The lawns may be covered in snow right now, but that isn’t slowing thieves who are looking to cash in on parts of local sprinkler systems. This time of year we often begin taking theft reports involving backflow prevention devices. Thieves steal these metal parts and sell them for cash at scrap metal yards. With the increasing prices for brass and copper, thieves are targeting these devices more frequently. And, with no water in the sprinkler system plumbing right now, thieves can steal the preventers without anyone seeing a fountain of water escaping from the system, making it harder for their victims to even realize they’ve been ripped off.
Victims of this type of theft are not only out the cost of the device itself, but thieves often do extensive damage to the sprinkler system when they steal them. There are some simple things you can do to make your backflow preventer less appealing to thieves:
- Paint the device. Painted devices are worth a fraction of the value of unpainted.
- Use shrubs to hide the device from plain sight.
- Stamp or label the metal on the device denoting ownership.
- Install backflow equipment enclosures that lock the devices inside metal cages.
We’ve posted a flyer with more information here.