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Fake Lake Elsinore Contractor Gets 4 Years in…

Man Arrested for Stealing $12,000+ in Metal from Lake Elsinore Businesses

Sheriff's officials say a Lake Elsinore man stole the metal as part of backflow devices that were part of commercial fire sprinkler systems.

A man suspected of stealing more than $12,000 of brass fire sprinkler valves during a rash of commercial thefts in Lake Elsinore remained behind bars Saturday, records showed.

The suspect, John Clifford, 44, of Lake Elsinore, was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of grand theft. He was held in lieu of $5,000 bail, records showed.

The theft of 23 backflow units and meters from a number of Lake Elsinore businesses between Jan. 15 and Feb. 5 prompted an investigation. A backflow unit protects potable water from backflow pollution, and is made of brass that is often targeted by metal thieves, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Raymond Nava said.

Fire sprinkler systems in commercial buildings can't function without the units, Nava said.

Sheriff's deputies interviewed Clifford last Saturday, and members of a sheriff's task force went to his Lake Elsinore home and arrested him Thursday, Nava said.


— City News Service.

Serious Sam February 22, 2014 at 10:18 PM
I consider stealing fire suppression equipment a worse crime than stealing general merchandise.
Alek J Hidell February 23, 2014 at 12:46 AM
$5000 bail.? Are you crazy? He disabled fire sprinklers! That is nearly TERRORISM.
Libi Uremovic February 23, 2014 at 07:32 AM
the business owner that accepts the stolen merchandise should be charged as well......we'll never get thieves to stop stealing, but if recycling businesses were criminally liable they wouldn't accept the stolen merchandise.... .... when the thieves can't sell it they'll stop stealing it....
Dog February 23, 2014 at 08:48 AM
And he probably got a hundred bucks of meth for all this damage and expense...
LAKE ELSINORE RESIDENT February 23, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Libi, the business owner is required to get a copy of their drivers license/I.D. card, vehicles license plates and if they don't then they should also be prosecuted in this criminal crime.
ChrisG February 23, 2014 at 09:53 AM
@dog, I agree these types of crimes generally support drug habits.
Libi Uremovic February 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM
it would take some skill and knowledge to know what to look for and how to disable the sprinkler systems ....23 times in three weeks.... that's the profile of a businessman, not someone that's stealing for an immediate fix ...
ChrisG February 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM
@libi, I disagree. Look for an unemployed plumber with a drug problem. Nobody goes to that effort to make money on the side if they aren't feeding a drug addiction.
Libi Uremovic February 23, 2014 at 12:40 PM
'...Look for an unemployed plumber...' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ could be his 'addiction' is a wife and kids to support... he did one a night 7 days/week - that's a lot of discipline for the average junkie ... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- with mello roos some property tax bills are pushing $10 grand ...it's easy to justify theft when a person is being robbed themselves....
ChrisG February 23, 2014 at 01:02 PM
@libi, sure but most anyone can make more money legitimately if they are willing to work than by stealing. So unless this is being done by kids chances are this is drug related.
Steve February 23, 2014 at 03:23 PM
Maybe one of his kids have mounting medical bills and he's being overwhelmed by demands for payment?
Ken February 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Your all wrong. He was stealing these brass articles so he could afford to buy a tank of gas that the Obummer administration continues to let run ramped. But on the bright side his golf game in Hawii is improving. Who knows maybe some day someone will steal his golf clubs and he will have to get back to running his country properly to keep from getting bored.
ChrisG February 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM
@ken, I'd rather Obama keep to the golf course. He is a disaster as an executive.
Steve February 25, 2014 at 05:30 PM
It's gotta be a plumber meth addict. As other countries do, it should be death for the big drug traffickers.
susie-q February 25, 2014 at 11:14 PM
Be it drug addict or rising taxes and medical bills, stealing and putting others lives in jeopardy is wrong. Regulate the recycling centers who accept stolen property. Scandalous!
Jerry W. Wingo III March 09, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Always nice to know when they catch these people! if you want to prevent this theft from happening to you then you should get a backflow cage from Backflow Protection cause thats best way to prevent this theft.
Jerry W. Wingo III March 09, 2014 at 11:34 AM
http://www.BackflowProtection.com is best cages on marketing to prevent this theft from happening to you.

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