Device aims to halt backflow preventer thefts

LAKE ELSINORE, CALIF. Building developer/contractor Byron Bishop has been in the construction business for more than 30 years and is a victim of metal thefts. "Just 25-ft. from the door of our field office, nine backflow preventer units were stolen, and a few miles from this office, 17 units were stolen in one day," Bishop said. Thieves are removing backflow prevention systems in as little as a few

LAKE ELSINORE, CALIF. — Building developer/contractor Byron Bishop has been in the construction business for more than 30 years and is a victim of metal thefts.

"Just 25-ft. from the door of our field office, nine backflow preventer units were stolen, and a few miles from this office, 17 units were stolen in one day," Bishop said.

Thieves are removing backflow prevention systems in as little as a few seconds from public and private property, selling the system parts at scrap recycling yards for cash. Most crimes take place during the night, by simply cutting through the metal and removing it, and sometimes even dragging the device out of the ground with a truck. In addition to the expense of $1,200-$1,500 replacement costs and property flood damage, there is lost productivity and business interruption.

Bishop, also the owner of D&M Mfg. Inc., set out to design effective backflow security systems that would be cost effective.

"The cages and valve covers currently on the market were expensive, high maintenance and did not seem to be effective," he said.

Bishop's Sentry Backflow Theft Prevention Security Systems use engineered concrete anchorage with heavy steel assemblies and the best locks available to keep the system in place and little maintenance is required.

Until now, the only preventive systems offered for theft control have been cages or valve covers. Law enforcement agencies have stated that thieves are stealing the cages or valve covers themselves and reselling them, and in some instances leaving the backflow preventers in place.

The Sentry Backflow Theft Prevention System's design is visually unobtrusive and they have proven to be theft-resistant and cost-effective. Units can be installed in one hour. Service on the backflow preventer can take place without unlocking the theft prevention system.

The patent-pending systems sell from $195 to $395 plus locks and installation. Additional information is available at http://backflowtheft.com