5 fire hydrants stolen by thieves in Norwalk area, leaving gushers in their wake

David González Image
Saturday, October 28, 2023
4 fire hydrants stolen by thieves in Norwalk
Thieves stole four fire hydrants at separate locations in the Norwalk area, leaving gushers of water spewing in their wake.

NORWALK, Calif. (KABC) -- Thieves stole five hydrants at separate locations in the Norwalk area overnight Thursday, leaving gushers of water spewing in their wake.

One hydrant was toppled by a car near the intersection of Leyva Street and Blackburn Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A spokesman for the agency, Fred Fielding, said these type of incidents happen all the time.

"Most of the time it's someone accidentally bumping into it," Fielding said. "They are just backing up or take a corner too sharply, or are involved in a traffic accident and then are diverted into a fire hydrant."

However, L.A. County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Mark Wilkening said the hydrant at Leyva and Blackburn was one of five targeted by thieves.

Wilkening said at least two suspects rammed the hydrants with a vehicle before stealing them. One of the suspects was seen wearing a reflective vest, the sergeant said. No other descriptions were available.

Anaheim sees spike in alarming trend: thieves smashing streetlights to steal copper wire

The city says more than 60 streetlights have been vandalized since the beginning of the year, and the criminals seem to be searching for one thing.

Said Fielding, "I've never heard of anyone intentionally trying to steal a fire hydrant," adding that tampering with hydrants only creates problems for those who may need help.

"If there's any other call -- if someone is in a traffic accident, having a heart attack, anything like that -- that unit is going to be busy shutting down that water," Fielding said.

Wilkening said the stolen hydrants may have been targeted for the scrap metal.

Fielding added, "The risk of taking them greatly outweighs any potential for scrap metal."

Wilkening acknowledged that while there is some value in fire hydrants, the thieves were not going to a get a lot money for them.

Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to call the sheriff's Norwalk station at (562) 863-8711.