On the company’s surveillance videos, a man in a bright orange hoodie and jeans is seen tying a fire hose around a backflow preventer, with the other end attached to his pickup truck. He then gets back into his vehicle, steps on the gas, and after several tries, the irrigation equipment breaks free. The robber then digs up a plant and places it in where the system was, in an effort to cover up his actions.
The primary suspect, Joshua Dial, was arrested in St. Charles, Missouri, for a similar crime committed that same night. When he was caught, he was wearing the same clothes and driving the same truck that was seen on Hummert’s cameras.
Police in St. Louis County said that Dial often stole items like backflow preventers in order to sell the scrap metal and valves. The company now has a new irrigation system, placed inside a highly secured cage. It’s also made mostly out of plastic, so its value is less on the scrap market.
Police are investigating Dial’s role in several backflow valve thefts in St. Charles, Missouri. In St. Louis County, he faces one charge of stealing over $500, a Class C felony.