Cheyenne Police Warn Citizens of Stolen Water Back-Up Device

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (News Release) – The Cheyenne Police Department (CPD) is issuing a warning of an increase in thefts of water back-up devices. These thefts have increased across the country and here at home due to contained semi-precious metal pushback devices.

Water backflow devices are typically installed above ground on the water service line to commercial buildings and apartment complexes. The U-shaped pipe acts as a valve to prevent irrigation or other water from backing up into the building’s drinking water source. Thieves profit from the resale of copper and brass metals in appliances.

“We see this happening during the day and at night. Thieves will cut the device with a saw – some have become so good at removing them that it can be done in minutes,” Detective Mike Fernandez said.

To address this issue, the CPD Detective Bureau has worked with local recycling companies, asking them to remain vigilant to help prevent this crime. The CPD reminds the public of the following steps to help prevent contrarian flying:

Step 1: paint, label or coat.

• Paint backflow devices or spray with truck bed liner to reduce scrap value.

• Stamp, label or identify the metal with a recognizable code.

Step 2: cover/enclose.

• Cover backflow devices with a protective cage or enclosure, which are attached or mounted to the floor.

Step 3: Secure.

• Use a high quality lock on roll cages. Lock guards protect locks from bolt cutter access.

Step 4: Post warnings.

• Post a visible warning sign mentioning safety measures.

Step 5: Consider plastic options.

• Consider using plastic check valves, which contain minimal amounts of semi-precious metals.

Step 6: Hide/Conceal.

• Conceal backflow devices by covering them with other surrounding natural landscapes.

• Use a sturdy protective case.

Anyone with information about stolen backflow devices should contact Detective Fernandez at (307) 633-6638

Copyright 2022 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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