Backflow Preventer Thefts On Increase

“Jimmy Gornick is upset with good reason. “I’m not very happy,” says Gornick.

Gornick owns the Pool and Spa Outlet on Normandy Blvd. He says twice last week his business was hit by thieves looking for scrap metal. “This is actually the second time now we’ve had to replace backflow preventers on our water lines,” says Gornick. A backflow preventer is made of brass and keeps water from going back into the city’s water supply. Gornick says replacing them has been expensive. Gornick says,” For the four valves it cost me $1,377.”

Gornick filed a police report and discovered that he is one of many victims. “They said it is an ongoing problem,especially on this side of town.” he says. His valves are between the business and the street. “Where it is costing us $2,000 to replace them, they’re turning them into scrap metal for two bucks a piece,” says Gornick.

Gornick is investing in a box to better secure his backflow preventers,which are required by code, but wants other business owners to watch out for this new twist on an old scam. “It is pretty bad when people steal your stuff with no concern whatsoever,” says Gornick. Gornick is hoping the surveillance video from a nearby business will help police catch the thief.

Scrap metal thefts are being driven by the soaring prices of copper, aluminum, and bronze. The problem has forced states and local municipalities to create laws to cut down on scrap metal thefts. Florida’s law goes into effect in October.”, August 13, 2008