As the City of Yuma continues to see thefts of water backflow devices from area businesses and one school, business owners across the area are encouraged to enhance or strengthen their security or surveillance measures.
Over the past month, Yuma Police have received approximately 20 reports of such incidents, which have continued to arise despite earlier news reports and public awareness.
The thefts occur in late-night or early-morning hours. The thefts cut the pipes holding the device, taking the device and copper pipes. There is no specific area in town that this is taking place. The victims are all businesses along with one school.
Backflow devices are made of brass and protect the City’s water system from contamination. As there has been no contact with any suspect yet, motive for the thefts is unclear. However, copper in the pipes attached to these devices may be one source of perceived value for thieves.
The City recommends businesses with backflow devices to take whatever measures they can to avoid being victimized. Many businesses install a cage around their devices and lock that cage. Removing or cutting back on vegetation that may be in front of the device may improve visibility and deter theft. Placing ample security cameras in areas where they cannot be tampered with may also deter thieves, or provide data that can help police catch the thieves.
The Yuma Police Department encourages anyone with any information about these backflow device thefts to please call the Yuma Police Department at 928-373-4700 or 78-Crime at (928) 782-7463 to remain anonymous.