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Multiple backflow valves stolen from Pueblo parks, costing the city over $15,000

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO)--In the last two months, eight backflow valves from five different parks and a median on the south side of Pueblo have been stolen, according to Pueblo Parks and Recreation.

Backflow Valve

Mike Taft, Parks Supervisor for the City of Pueblo, said it costs $2,000 to replace a backflow valve.

Now, the city has to pay over $15,000 to replace all eight backflow valves. Taft said the city does not have the money to budget for this type of loss.

He said if they don't have these systems then they can't keep the parks looking nice.

"It's just like everybody's lawn at home. If you don't water it, it's going to turn brown and die. And then that takes an extra time and money to get back where it needs to be," said Taft

Parks and Rec said it costs $10-$15 to sell the backflow valves for scrap.

"It's not much value to it for as far as scrap metal, but to the parks and rec. there's a lot of money involved, not just a replacement valve, but the labor," said Patrick Fleming, Park Ranger Coordinator.

The most recent theft happened on Monday at Stauter Field at 2:30 p.m., according to Pueblo Police (PPD). Sgt. Frank Ortega, Public information officer for PPD said a neighbor in the area turned in Ring doorbell footage to the Parks and Recreation Department and then later forwarded it to them.

Screengrab from ring doorbell footage

The Ring doorbell video shows two suspects running from the backflow valve cages to their car and putting a backflow valve in their trunk.

Backflow Valve missing from Stauter Field

The PPD said the thieves are also causing damage to the protective metal cages around the valves which costs the city more money to replace.

Taft said parks staff have taken further measures to secure the cages where the backflow valves are located.

Now, PDD is asking for the community's help to identify the thieves in the video.

If you have any idea who they might be, you're advised to call the Pueblo Police Department.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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