Residents in Spring on high alert after thief caught on camera stealing several backflow preventer devices

A hot commodity after the February freeze

The Woodlands – Residents in Spring are asking for help in identifying a man they said stole several backflow preventers from at least two different communities.

The thief was caught on several different surveillance cameras in the Wright’s Landing subdivision wearing a red hat and an AT&T vest.

Melissa Solis said she first noticed her backflow preventer was missing Tuesday afternoon.

“When we came out, we noticed that not only ours was missing, but our neighbors were missing as well,” said Solis.

The backflow preventer is essentially a part for your sprinkler system. Its purpose is to only allow water to flow in one direction, and it stops contaminated water from the sprinkler system from entering your home’s supply of drinking water.

“For them to hit our neighborhood, not only ours but another neighborhood as well, it’s definitely really frustrating that we can’t do anything about it,” said resident Jocelyn Davis.

The backflow preventer part itself usually runs about $80 to $150, according to a local plumbing company.

It has been in high demand recently because of the winter freeze.

Several residents, including Andy Schneider, said they had just recently installed a new one after there’s busted during the storm.

“It’s about a $400 repair with labor and everything,” Schneider said.

The backflow preventer is also typically made of brass, which makes it valuable to thieves who might try to sell it at a scrapyard.

Residents in the Wright’s Landing subdivision filed several police reports.

If you have any information on the incidents, you’re asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office.

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