Brass thefts cause water woes

Published On: Jan 03 2013 05:46:10 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 05:47:39 PM CST
SHENANDOAH, Texas -

Some thieves targeting backflow preventers at businesses along Interstate 45 in Shenandoah could cost owners thousands in repairs.

Backflow preventers are large, brass devices installed on the main water lines to prevent water from re-entering the main water system from a business or irrigation system.

Shenandoah police said the crooks busted several pipes overnight Thursday, which caused water to flow. Crews were later able to get the water shut off.

Police said a backflow preventer will net a crook around $20, and the whole night of destruction likely gained the crooks less than $100. But police said the business owners will be the ones to pay the price.

"The expense that they cause, these businesses and business owners, is far greater than anything they're going to collect," said Assistant Chief Bryan Carlisle.

While the crooks didn't get away with much, police said they'll be in hot water if they're caught. They could face destruction of property charges.