What is a Leg-Lifter to Do?

How about this creative (accused) thief:



RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- A Rubidoux man is accused of stealing dozens of fire hydrants in Riverside and San Bernardino counties for scrap metal.

Brian Burian, 45, was arrested at his home after investigators identified him as the man who had been selling the metal hydrants to a scrap dealer in Colton, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's department.



Investigators said Burian used a five-to six-foot-long "valve key" to shut off the water, removed the bolts holding the 80- to 100-pound hydrants down and hauled them away -- all in broad daylight.

Workers with the West Valley Water District in San Bernardino, which had 25 hydrants vandalized, helped crack the case by staking out an area where the thefts had been taking place, officials said. On Tuesday, the workers followed a suspicious truck to Burian's home...

A scrap yard can be charged with a felon for buying a fire hydrant or parts of one. But, in this case, the parts had been cut up so as to make them unrecognizable, Deputy Roger Young of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department told the Press Enterprise.

"A layman wouldn't be able to tell it was a hydrant," he told the paper. "It was just pieces of brass and bronze."

Investigators say since early April, 45 hydrants in the two inland counties have been reported stolen or vandalized for their metal.

The hydrants can weigh 80 to 100 pounds each and can sell for about $1.60 a pound. Replacing them can cost public agencies between $1,000 and $1,800 each...
Congrats to water department officials for cracking this case, but I think it would have been solved anyway in this manner:

• A significant amount of male dogs in Riverside become confused and depressed after their favorite places to urinate vanish.

• In response, these dogs seek to ease their pain by leg-lifting more frequently on the lawn statues and garden gnomes of area residents--which results in an increased rate of dead flowers and plants due to the repeated sprays.

• Angry gardeners throughout the county then overwhelm neighborhood police stations with complaints about the "leak and runs."

• In response, police commanders assign extra patrols to the areas impacted, and while on a stake-out of suspected inconsiderate relievers Bubba the wiener dog and Seamus the Irish Wolfhound, authorities observe Mr. Burian allegedly attempting to pilfer fire hydrants.
So what do you think?

Do you like my more comprehensive explanation or the simplistic one reported in the article?

On second thought, I don't want to hear the answer to that one.

Perhaps the above interpretation is the result of being delirious and ready for Saturday and Sunday after a full week of scooping an inordinate amount of poos from our happy, but busy new yellow-lab mix/Humane Society special.

Have a nice weekend everyone.
_________________________________________________

The fire hydrant photo is from here, and the defendant's image is from this site.

30 comments:

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
One can only wonder at the number of concrete donkeys and gnomes which have suffered an ignominious watering. But then the dogs take to the plaster flamingos, that's when I'd come out swinging.

ROFL!

My next comment is about the crime. IT cannot pay. by the time this idiot had stolen the hydrants and cut them into unrecognizable pieces, resupplied himself with saw blades and gasoline for his truck, he would have been making around $5.00 per hour. What a destructive and stupid way to make a buck.

I say plant him up to his waist with the gnomes and donkeys in the vicinity. But then I am a hard, hard woman.

Have a great weekend!
Ann T.

Selma said...

What a bizarre thing to steal. Really and truly. The dogs in the neighbourhood will be stressed out. Too funny!

mappchik said...

Stealing the hydrants sounds tough enough, but add cutting them into little pieces for sale as scrap, and it sounds like an awful lot of time and work for "easy" money. I wonder if it even works out to minimum wage. Maybe they should unionize?

lifeshighway said...

The golden shower effect on gnomes, donkeys and kissing dutch couples add to the character and rich patina of these valuable yard items.

As for the fire hydrants - shame.

Matthew Rush said...

Wow, this is so strange. Thanks for sharing Slam.

I had always wondered about those billboards in California warning about people trying to steal the copper from out of cables. Are they really that desperate for money and do people really need scrap metal that badly? I guess so.

Today's guest blogger is The Alliterative Allomorph!

Momma Fargo said...

Haha! I totally love your version! Great story.

Herding Cats said...

This is so Riverside. I went to a university right next door to Colton, and I can say that this doesn't surprise me. Ridiculous crime was the name of the game in those parts.

Portia said...

Oh yeah, I prefer your version too :-) Very odd story, and is it just me or does the mugshot make this guy look like a serial killer?

Expat From Hell said...

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, we always had a suspicion about those characters that lived in the "Inland Empire". You have confirmed those suspicions, Slam. Thanks for the great post. Only you could have dug this one up! EFH

J. J. in Phila said...

Actually, the nitrates in urine should have helped the plants. :)

It is quite possible your "yellow-lab mix/Humane Society special" might be your garden's best friend. :)

Luisa Doraz said...

People can be VERY entertaining, huh? lol :) Have a fun day today. My mom is doing better, so I am happy.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Yep, I'm thinking that new puppy has twisted your mind. Only takes about two years to break them in.

Fire hydrants? Always surprising what people will do.

Isha Shiri said...

Hi my friend!

Laughter, I think the dogs will be relieved when they discover that the hydrants just sitting there waiting for their "signals". Here in Brazil (where I live now) it is common for theft of manholes covers iron rainwater from the streets to sell as scrap, but not hydrants. - The lack of character here is also common with the public patrimony.

Big hug. Happy weekend :)

LadyFi said...

Oh, the poor gnomes who received unwanted leg-lifting attention!

Funny post!

RD said...

It's really not that uncommon especially before the Beijing Olympics when the price for metal was so high. Highway guard rails, copper railings, and down spouts, copper wiring, and even power line supports are stolen in my neck of the woods. Thieves steal from construction sites and sell good steal supports directly to the scrap yards.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

How funny! My husband always brings home scrap metal he finds (NOT FIRE HYDRANTS) to see if he can recycle them, so far nothing big has panned out. Have a great weekend too!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I can't stop laughing long enough to type after reading your version of this with the dogs.

Okay, now my kids are looking at me like I'm on drugs. Thanks!

*wipes the tears from her eyes*

MONICA-LnP said...

haha great story.
my FIL just had his tailgate stolen from his truck the other night wonder how thats going to be solved??LOL

Lola Sharp said...

Congrats on your new addition to the family. Not the poop part...

I preferred your special version of the story. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!
Lola

Holly said...

I thought that was one of my relatives at first...and don't laugh..it is not that far out there. People do the craziest things! Inventive however.

Eternally Distracted said...

People do the strangest things!

upwoods said...

You learn something amazing every day, don't you? Thanks for sharing this bizarre bit of humanity, Slam Dunks! (Hoping there wasn't a fire anywhere nearby in which someone really needed a fire hydrant...

beth said...

I'm just shocked anyone would steal fire hydrants! But I do like your investigative procedure :)

Gayle @ Mountain Mom said...

My goodness, it is amazing what people can do to avoid finding a real job and working.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
No one ever said that criminals were SMART...or that crime really DOES pay (unless you work in D.C.)

Hope the doggies are once again a happier lot.

:)

Jeanette K. said...

Wow, this is seriously one of the strangest stories I've heard in a long time!!

Jan said...

Very strange!!
Some people's kids?!?!

Rhiannon Nicole said...

Ew what a creeper, Who does that? Ugh. This world I tell you is full of crazy people. Blah.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

What a an ODD thing to steal!!!

LisaF said...

No words. This one is too strange.