RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- A Rubidoux man is accused of stealing dozens of fire hydrants in Riverside and San Bernardino counties for scrap metal.Congrats to water department officials for cracking this case, but I think it would have been solved anyway in this manner:
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...
So what do you think?
• 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.
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.