A copper theft has knocked out water to a valley business center -- leaving a gym, a swim center, even a Montessori school without any H2O.
The theft is not only an inconvenience for business owners, but for parents who had to change plans because of the outage. This happened at a center in north Peoria -- near 78th Avenue and Deer Valley.
Police say overnight, thieves cut the locks on cages that cover the backflow preventers and took the valuable copper, which caused the water outage.
The damage done was much more severe than what these thieves will get in return.
Workers were busy welding pipes to get water restored to Arrowhead Ranch Complex Monday. As of Monday night, it is back on.
"This morning we came in to school at 7:30 and we realized we had no water pressure," says Rebecca Grim, director of Black Mountain Science Academy.
Thieves cut the pipes overnight, taking off with the copper, leaving a string of businesses like the Black Mountain Science Academy without water.
"We had to tell all the parents we were unable to have school today due to not having running water. we were not able to have kids here to wash hands, go to the bathroom so it was a big inconvenience for our parents this morning," says Grim.
Crossfit Incendia stayed open. The gym handed out bottled water to members. The fitness gurus didn't let a little something like not having working bathrooms stop them from working out.
"We don't have access to the bathroom but fortunately we have a convenience store up the road, so people have been jumping in their cars in the middle of class and driving over there and using their facilities," says Bryan Holland, Crossfit Incendia.
It's estimated the thieves got away with $1,000 of copper and caused $12,000 in damage. Business owners say they're the ones paying the price.
"It's very disappointing people would actually do something like this and it has a big ripple effect to businesses in our area," says Grim.
The stolen pipes have now been replaced. Workers not only put a cage around them, but painted the pipes black which they say, reduces the value of the copper.
If you have any information about this copper theft, call police.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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