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Stupid Case File for May 14, 2006

Stealing the valves ...

Courtesy of Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Thieves have stolen $10,000 worth of brass toilet flush valves from restrooms at more than two dozen parks in the past three weeks.

Police are asking for the public's help in finding more than 100 valves, which they say could end up on the black market for construction parts or melted and sold for metal.

In addition to the valves, which cost $100 each, thieves also stole toilets, sinks and other items from 28 city parks on the North Shore and in Central Oahu.

"It's very upsetting, in a sense, to have to deal with this — to have taxpayers to repair something like this that we could use for so much better purposes," said Les Chang, director of the city's Department of Parks and Recreation.

He said in addition to being expensive, the repairs will be an inconvenience to park users. There's also the hidden cost of other work not being done because crews will be busy repairing the toilets.

Two detectives are on the case, but no suspects or leads have been identified, police said.

Officials believe the thefts, which targeted isolated parks such as Ehukai, Haleiwa and Pokai beach parks, probably occurred late at night. Chang suspects they were committed by people familiar with installing and removing the fixtures.

"We think they know what they're doing" because the fixtures were cleanly disconnected, he said.


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