Suspects arrested after causing $75K in water flow valve thefts - WNEM TV 5

Suspects arrested after causing $75K in water flow valve thefts

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PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -

A group of suspects wanted in connection with stolen water flow valves in the Valley were arrested in Peoria on March 22.

The Peoria Police Department's Impact Team arrested Robert Goff, 44, Steven Dewitt, 32, and Alison Farmer, 28, for stealing water flow devices throughout the Valley. When officers stopped the three suspects they had at least 10 water flow valves with them that officers have been able to connect to a theft in Glendale.

Goff, Dewitt and Farmer had primarily targeted commercial areas where there were multiple water flow valves in a row, according to investigators. The three suspects would steal somewhere between five to 10 valves a night or in early morning hours.

The valves were then taken to scrap yards where the suspects would get up to $100 a valve. Meanwhile the companies affected by the theft would have to pay thousands to get the valves replaced plus there would be no water access until the valves were replaced.

Investigators learned that the suspects would not steal any water valves from businesses that were painted blue because scrap yards will not accept them because of the valves being linked to city property.

Investigators have been able to link Goff, Dewitt and Farmer to 20 theft cases in Scottsdale plus another 10 to 15 cases in Glendale. A total of $75,000 worth of damage was done by the three suspects, according to investigators.

The Peoria Police Department's Impact Team are encouraging businesses to secure their water flow valves using cages or disk locks in addition to painting them blue to discourage or prevent thieves from targeting them.

Copyright2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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