SANTA CLARA (BCN) — Police are looking for a vehicle linked to more than a dozen thefts of water meters or back-flow regulators in Santa Clara.
The city has had 16 thefts in which the suspect or suspects take out the cover of a water meter, turn off the valve and use a pipe cutter to remove the meters, police said.
Investigators are looking for a white older-style panel van with a black stripe between the wheel wells on each side, according to police.
The city has lost an estimated $40,000 from the thefts, according to police.
Water meters measure the volume of water going through a pipe. The back-flow regulator stops the water from becoming contaminated, according to police.
Taking out the devices stops water service and may lead to wasted or contaminated water, police said.
Officers have recovered a stolen Chevrolet Trailblazer they believe is associated with the thefts, police said.
The city is offering a $5,000 for information that will lead to an arrest and conviction. Anyone who knows of a person selling the devices is asked to call Santa Clara police at (408) 615-5580.