For Immediate Release
PR #:1900017
Date Issued:Feb 08, 2019 - 1:19pm

Sheriff's Office reminds residents to keep an eye on backflow devices following thefts in Spanish Springs

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating two reports of backflow devices stolen from commercial properties in north Spanish Springs in late January.

The thefts occurred sometime between Tuesday, January 22, and Wednesday, January 23 and were detected when tenants of the property noticed that water wasn’t available.

These thefts serve as a reminder to all residents to keep an eye on their water systems during the winter months. Typically metal thieves target irrigation systems after they have been turned off for the winter. It is not uncommon for the Sheriff’s Office to start receiving reports of stolen back flow prevention valves in the spring, as residents and businesses begin turning their water systems back on and detect the theft.

Area residents are encouraged to take time now to check their water systems and report any thefts to the Sheriff’s Office online at

Thieves target back flow prevention valves because they can get a nice piece of brass for very little effort. Here are some tips to help protect against metal theft:    

  • Secure foundation openings in the crawl space of your house with a good hasp and padlock.
  • If possible, build a small chain link fence or cage enclosures around the outside portions of your commercial fixtures, heating and cooling systems.
  • Don’t store scrap metals outside, or within view of people passing by.
  • Contact local law enforcement if you see any suspicious activity.
  • Check your business and residential properties regularly.
  • Keep a close eye on your irrigation systems and on vacant homes and businesses in your neighborhood.

Anyone with information about the recent thefts in Spanish Springs is asked to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at (775) 328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900. Refer to cases WC19-50054 and WC19-50055.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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