As the prices of metal rises in California, people are becoming more and more creative in their attempt to sell scrap metal. Not all of these endeavors, however, fall under the realm of the law. The Redlands Police Department are looking for the people responsible for stealing 16 fire hydrants in the Redlands area. It is estimated that these hydrants were worth about $40,000 and it will take that much to replace them. In the meantime, the people who live in those areas will be at a higher risk because the fire department will be hindered in their ability to quickly bring fires under control. The City of Redlands is currently working with a contractor in an effort to get the hydrants replaced.
According to California State Senator Bill Emmerson, this is a problem throughout the state. Theft of metal objects such as manholes, backflow devices, fire hydrants, and more is on the rise because the price of metal is also on the rise. There are currently two bills in the works which would make it illegal for junk dealers to accept these types of items without permission of the owner as well as hold them liable for any damages which occurred. The community is also asked to help in this process by being careful to report any suspicious persons who are removing these types of items. If the people guilty of this offense are found, they could be charged with larceny under the California Penal Code §§484-502.9 (2011). If you have questions regarding theft crimes and how to defend yourself against false accusations, please look through our website or contact our office today. At Martinian & Associates, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. Call for a free case evaluation.