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16 Fire Hydrants Stolen in Northwest Redlands, Estimate $40,000 to Replace

The thefts occurred between the evening of Sept. 11 and early morning Sept. 12, on West Lugonia, Research Drive, Almond and Bryn Mawr, a city spokesman said.

The city of Redlands on Monday Sept. 17 announced the theft of 16 fire hydrants in northwest Redlands.

The estimated cost of replacing the missing hydrants will be $40,000, according to the Redlands Municipal Utilities and Engineering Department staff.

"Even greater than the financial burden may be the public safety risk the thefts represent," Redlands spokesman Carl Baker said. "Because of the lack of water to fight fires and the large area affected, the ability to suppress fires in the area has been severely reduced, causing a significant risk to lives and property."

The thefts occurred between the evening of Sept. 11 and early morning Sept. 12, on West Lugonia Avenue, Research Drive, Almond Avenue and Bryn Mawr Avenue, Baker said.

Many California cities counties and other government agencies are dealing with thefts of hydrants, manhole covers, and backflow devices as the price of scrap metal continues to rise, Baker said.

"Staff from the Redlands Municipal Utilities and Engineering Department estimate the cost in labor and material to replace the 16 stolen hydrants at approximately $40,000," Baker said. "The City is currently working with a contractor to order and install replacement hydrants."

Baker urged the public to call police dispatch at (909) 798-7681 or 911 any time they see anyone other than a uniformed firefighter or city employee working on a fire hydrant, manhole or backflow device, especially at night.

Anonymous tips can be provided by texting 274637 using the keyword "REDTIP."

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Roberta A. Gould September 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM
People are desperate these days and it seems to be getting worse in what extent individuals will go in order to make money. Doing the right thing doesn't exist in some minds. In my husbands experience when he took scrap metal in to recycle he was fingerprinted, photographed and they made copies of his drivers license.
Mike Saifie September 17, 2012 at 11:38 PM
That is one reason I am running for Redlands City Council. Safety is my Priority number 1. Mike Saifie ( Candidate for Redlands City Council)
SBSWZ September 18, 2012 at 03:58 AM
The person(s) who stole them must have a lot of doggies ... i hope this blog chain is not a forum for campaigning but i guess it is free speech... go for it...
tim September 18, 2012 at 09:30 AM
. "The City is currently working with a contractor to order and install replacement hydrants." ??? Why can't the city just order them and have city employee's install them ???? Wouldn't that say a few dollars???
Dex September 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM
So the math tells me that a replacement hydrant is over $2000 apiece?? Man, I am in the wrong business....
Charles Ferrell September 18, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I thought that $40,000, including materials and labor, to replace 16 fire hydrants, seemed more than reasonable to me. I thought they would cost something upwards of $3,500 to $4,000 to replace, including materials and labor. If Redlands can get the job done for $40,000, good for them. By the way, if the culprits, pros for certain as amateurs wouldn't have been able to nab 16 hydrants so quickly, don't have their own furnace to melt down the hydrants into scrap medal themselves, I would hope any scrap dealer would pay close attention to anyone trying to sell city fire hydrants. I understand Redlands is losing a lot of manhole covers as well. Aren't they stamped with City of Redlands on them? Any scrap dealer ought to pay close attention and take notes about anyone selling them hydrants or manhole covers. Any who don't ought to lose their license.
El Jibaro de Lytle Creek September 18, 2012 at 07:55 PM
First place I would check are all the nearby bankrupt city warehouses. Wonder if there is a slight probability the City of San bernardino stole/borrowed them. Oy Veh!
Patti September 19, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Yes, they should lose their license. I agree. It seems to me that the scrap dealers are only in it for the money as well! You sure don't hear about people being busted for turning in the kind of stolen copper and metals that have disappeared from out cities.
SBSWZ September 19, 2012 at 08:49 AM
Those who stole the hydrants needed a place to urinate like the dogs that they are.
Diego Jones September 19, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Dear Reporters, I assume many readers are asking question about "stealing fire hydrants" and how this is done. First, were there 16 water fountains created by the thefts of was the water shut off by the crooks. If so, how were they able to. Second, the pictures show the caps missing. If that is all there is? Why do 16 of those cost $40,000? Third, this Saifie guys is running for council on the safety of fire hydrants? Just pass a law that punishes thefts of critical infrastructure.
Mike Saifie October 24, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Diego, you are absolutely right. We need tougher laws for any one who knowingly destroys public property. Mike Saifie Candidate for Redlands city Council..

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