“The Los Angeles Times on September 17, 2012 reported the neighboring community of Redlands Police Department are investigating a theft of approximately sixteen fire hydrants, valued at approximately $40,000. It is believed the fire hydrants were stolen for scrap metal; however, the risk to the public far outweighs any economic value since the Fire Department requires the hydrants in order to properly fight fire. As the price for metal continues to rise and there are serious economic problems facing a growing portion of the public, it seems some individuals are resorting to crime by stealing, among other things, fire hydrants, backflow devices and hydrants. At the same time, there are employers throughout California that have job openings that they are challenged to find applicants.
There are currently two Senate Bills in California awaiting the Governor’s signature that would make it a misdemeanor crime for junk dealers and recyclers to possess fire hydrants and manhole covers, as well as to hold them responsible for the costs of repair and/or replacement.”
SAM SPITAL, Criminal Defense Lawyer