Corona businesses report rise in copper water valve thefts

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Following several thefts, some Corona business owners say they've been forced to spend thousands of dollars replacing and protecting copper water valves.

"Three weeks ago, we found that our back-flow water valve got stolen and so we replaced it, but as of this past weekend, it got stolen again," said Charlie Le, who works at a manufacturing firm in the area. He added that so far, they've had to shell out $5,000.

The property developer said the problem has been on the rise for the past several months, with at least 10 businesses affected. He said thieves have even stolen water meters that cost about $22,000.

Another business said it was also targeted over the weekend. The thieves weren't able to get away with the valve but did cause flooding and left the business without water all weekend.

The Corona Police Department said it has seen this kind of property theft in different parts of the city and is investigating.
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