Theft of sprinkler system parts on the rise in east Louisville s - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Theft of sprinkler system parts on the rise in east Louisville subdivision

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The video shows the man return to his truck to get a wrench and, just over a minute later, you see him throw his prize in the back of the truck and take off. The video shows the man return to his truck to get a wrench and, just over a minute later, you see him throw his prize in the back of the truck and take off.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Just before 11 p.m. last Sunday night, a camera caught a man stopping at the exit of the Locust Creek subdivision. He first acts like he's having car trouble so a passerby doesn't get suspicious. After the car's gone, he goes after when he came for.

The man's target was a backflow preventer for a sprinkler system and it's suspected the man stole the brass device for scrap.

"This one will cost us close to $1,000 to replace and he received probably about $60," Locust Creek developer Bob Marrett said.

The video shows the man return to his truck to get a wrench and, just over a minute later, you see him throw his prize in the back of the truck and take off. The entire job takes less than four minutes.

Backflow preventers can be very easy to steal. Unlike another hot item, air conditioner coils that are contained, these stick right out in the open, and can be taken by cutting it off or removing it with a wrench.

They've become popular in Locust Creek. Before last November, just three of them had been stolen, but since then, six have been taken.

What's more shocking than the thefts is the man's accomplice -- a boy who looks no more than six or seven years old. Just before the two leave the scene, you see the man hand the boy something he throws in the truck.

"Obviously, it's very sad that you would have to bring a child into a situation like that. Just even the time of the night, then bringing him in on a situation where you're committing a theft," Major Barry Wilkerson, with LMPD, said. "Obviously that's very sad. If we do catch this individual, which I'm sure we will, we will look at even prosecuting further, including a juvenile in on the crime."

Meanwhile, developer Bob Marrett hopes the crime doesn't become a trend in a neighborhood filled with these devices.

"Our lawns out here are required to have irrigation equipment," Marrett explained. "The lawns are irrigated, so yeah, everybody has one, and we have a lot of them because of our common areas, medians and so forth."

"We haven't had many of these that have been stolen, these backflow preventers," Major Wilkerson said. "But we will be looking in the future and increasing patrols in this area."

For now, police have a great lead on this crime -- a crystal clear picture of the perpetrator.

Major Wilkerson says he plans to talk with local scrap yards, to find out if they've seen this man.

If you think you might know who he is, call the LMPD tip line at 574-LMPD.

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