Update: Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013 - Penalties for water theft clarified
An interview, aired by KMUD correspondent Christina Aanestad with Lieutenant Steve Knight of the Humboldt County sheriff's Office, indicated that criminal as well as civil penalties could be sought against individuals caught stealing water.
Hear more using the player below to listen to the interview which was aired on the KMUD Local News on Thurs., Sept. 5, 2013.
Update: Wed., Sept. 4, 2013 - Bridgeville Elementary School closed because of water theft leaving school's water tank empty.
Last Tues., Sept. 3, in the morning before school started, a maintenance worker at the Bridgeville Elementary School in Bridgeville, Calif. found there to be no running water at the school. When he checked the school's 20,000 gal water tank the maintenance worker found it to be completely drained. A Humboldt County Sheriff's investigation revealed tire tracks that may have indicated a water truck or large truck and trailer with water tanks was used to steal the water from the school's water tank. The HCSO press release appears below.
Use the player below to hear more on this story, including an interview with Bridgeville School Superintendent and Principal, Beth Anderson. This piece was submitted and aired on the KMUD Local News on Wed., Sept. 4, 2013 by KMUD News Anchor
HCSO press release, dated 09-04-2013:
On 09-03-2013, approximately 12:20 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the superintendent of Bridgeville Elementary School reporting a water theft. The superintendent reported that about 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, a maintenance worker went to the school and noticed there was no running water. When the maintenance worker checked the onsite 20,000 gallon water tank which stores water for the school, the worker discovered there was no water in the tank, it was completely drained. The school had to be closed due to no running water.
Further investigation into the incident revealed tire tracks in the field on the south side of the school. School staff believes someone climbed the fence surrounding the enclosed school grounds and took a garden hose from the school which they used to drain the water tank. It is believed the suspect(s) had a water truck or large truck and trailer with water tanks which allowed them to steal the water from the schools water tank.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
The original post on local water thefts appears below.
"Whiskey’s for drinkin’ and water’s for fightin", a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, could just as well be changed to: "Whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for stealing", as evidenced by the recent news of suspected water thefts in our North Coast region. Areas hit by suspected water thieves include Redway and Myers Flat, Ukiah, and recently Weott.
The first Weott incident occurred around July 26 and resulted in a loss of approximately 10,000 gallons. A few days later a second Weott episode left some families without water, and emergency efforts to rebuild the water storage resulted in leaks in the system causing more water loss. The worsening series of events prompted the Weott Community Services District to call on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to approve a resolution proclaiming the Existence of a Local Emergency to the Weott Water Delivery System. According to KMUD News Correspondent Daniel Mintz, (audio report below) repair of the leaks in the system may require closure of the Avenue of the Giants for a period of two weeks.
Use the player below to hear more about this Emergency Resolution in a piece submitted by Daniel Mintz and aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., Aug. 13, 2013.
The audio player below contains more information on the water theft in Weott and clarifies the issues related to bulk water sales. This story was aired by Christina Aanestad on the KMUD Local News on Tues., Aug. 6, 2013.
More information about the suspected water thefts in Ukiah can be heard using the player below. This story was submitted by Dan Young and aired on the KMUD Local News Wednesday, August 7, 2013.