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Man Cited for Syphoning Off City Water

Caught as he was pumping water from a hydrant downtown Petaluma

A 40-year-old Oakland resident was cited Wednesday morning after he was caught allegedly stealing city water from a hydrant in downtown Petaluma.

The man, identified as Alberto Martinez, an employee of SanFrancisco-based Bayline Construction, had pulled up his truck next to a hydrant located at Baker and Bassett streets and was pumping water through a hose.

He was spotted around 8am by a motorcycle officer, cited and told to appear in court.

Although the theft is valued at less than $100, police say stealing city water is a serious crime and that offenders will be prosecuted. They also remind residents and businesses that anyone seeking city water for construction projects needs to first contact the Petaluma Water Resources Department to set up an account and obtain a meter. 

Reginald "Rex" Henderson November 02, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Have things really gotten that bad?
Kevin King November 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Not sure if it's the same thing going on, but I alway see two trucks with huge tanks pulling water from hydrants at the end of Caufield Lane (near Lakeville) between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. almost every morning. Not sure if it has anything to do with the nearby construction at the end of Hopper St., though.
Karina Ioffee November 02, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Hi Kevin. You should write down any identifying information like company name on side of truck and license plate and report it to the police.
Bill Pink November 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM
It truly is AMAZING to me that with all the BIG problems that exist in Petaluma, such as gangs, rapes, robberies, burglaries, etc. that the Police Department has the time to be bothered with such things as somebody stealing what amounts to less than $100 worth of water (how much less than that they didn't say). I can only assume the Officer simply couldn't find anything better to do. Perhaps the donut shop closed early that morning. Oh well.
The Fool November 03, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Really? When the person is stealing water, they are stealing from the commons; that's you and me. Kudos to the police for being on top of this. He may have only taken $100 this time. However, he and other employees of contractors--who probably know better and look the other way or even encourage such action--probably have stolen thousands of dollars over the recent years, maybe more. Why do we prioritize theft of private property--"burglaries, robberies" as a "big" crime, but stealing the from the public is worthy of a general slight against the police for doing their jobs? We're so messed up...

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