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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.

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 M 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.
Community Member 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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