Police: Man Fled After Stealing Thousands of Dollars in Water Valves

A man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly stealing six city-owned water-regulation devices from a Winchester park.

John Melvin Harrsion, 42, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. and charged with suspicion of grand theft and possessing burglary tools.

He reportedly stole six all-brass backflow valves worth an estimated $3,000 from Fieldlow Park and tried to flee from police when they arrived at the scene.

The police found the devices hidden in some bushes, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Knotek.

Blackflow valves have been a popular target for thieves who try to sell them to scrap dealers since the increase in metal prices five years ago.

Harrison is being held at the Southwest Detention  Center in Murrieta with a set bail of $5,000.

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