Hunt’s on for water meter thieves

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FRANKSTON police are investigating a series a water meter thefts in the Seaford, Frankston North and Frankston areas over the past six weeks.

Twenty meters have been stolen from schools, sporting clubs, houses and commercial properties.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Ash Eames, of Frankston CIU, said the meters were being stolen for their value as brass scrap metal and sold on the black market.

“Each meter is worth only $15-$40, but they cost South East Water up to $1000 to replace,” he said.

“These thefts cause residents huge inconvenience as often their property has the water shut off for days and they are not able to shower, use the toilet or cook.

“They are also required to foot the bill for the plumber to install the new meter. Commercial businesses can potentially suffer huge losses if machines are forced to shut down until water is reconnected.”

Detective Eames said the meters were “easily stolen by desperate thieves and only require unbolting with a shifter”.

“The issue for the thieves is offloading them, as reputable scrap metal dealers won’t accept them and provide details to police of anyone attempting to sell them,” he said.

Police urge residents to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, especially late at night or the early hours of the morning when most of the thefts occur.

At large: A thief who stole copper water pipe from St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Davey St, Frankston, 1am, Sunday 14 January, is still on the run. Picture: Supplied

Anyone with information regarding the thefts, or the identity of the man in the images, is urged to call Detective Eames on 9784 5590 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

First published in the Frankston Times – 29 January 2018

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