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June 14, 2015



MILPITAS (KPIX 5) — Police are warning for businesses and residents to start locking up their taps. California’s drought has gotten so bad, people are stealing water.
Thieves busted the locks on the spigots at a popular Asian shopping center on Barber Lane in Milpitas, just to get their hands on what has become liquid gold.

Palo Alto resident Jason Zhur said he’s shocked it has come this far. “But water’s becoming more expensive than gas,” he said.
Police say the thieves waited until the businesses were closed and returned in the middle of the night to steal their water — and lots of it.

Witnesses saw 3 or 4 water bandits prying open the small boxes that house the spigots. Then they filled up large containers with hundreds of gallons of water.

The businesses discovered the theft after the property owner noticed a much higher water bill and told them.

“It’s an easy target,” said shopper Sara Tang, “because no one is here at night after they’re closed.”

Many businesses here have surveillance cameras, but apparently they weren’t a deterrent.

“I imagine it’s come to that point because water rates are going up, everything is going up, now,” said Zhur.

On June 1, water districts across the state began enforcing mandatory cutbacks on water consumption. Residents who don’t comply risk steep fines.

So far, police haven’t made any arrests in this case, but they are warning people to start locking up their spigots.

Hardware stores sell locks that screw on. They will prevent thieves from opening the spigot and stealing the water.

Bruce Dickinson

Joe, how does this sound, for the value of the water spilled by the water main break, how about Burlingame, instead of focusing on a new city hall or rec center, give the value of that money to residents to help pay their water bills as a water bill credit? Make no mistake, Burlingame residents should not be paying for the mistake of lack of attention and focus on shoddy infrastructure. You gotta invest in the future, folks, or you'll end up paying for the piper, or shall Bruce Dickinson say, the pipe?!?


Forget the Wreck Center,
Lets just keep the Parks and Trees viable until we figure out how to do just that.

Peter Garrison

Fix the potholes and pensions first. City Hall and Rec Ctr are fine. Sustainability and earthquake-ready are code words for spending.

Lock up your front yard water...

Wow! Never would have considered locking my front yard water faucet, but good idea.

People that use water should pay for the water.



Here is a different design that goes on the mouth of the faucet instead of the handle. Looks like the same company but cheaper


lisa t

whats up with the lawn be gone program, is it going to be funded in Burlingame?

I'm ready to pull out my lawn


Hi Lisa T, my apologies for not knowing the answer to your question. You have asked a couple of times and I have looked around a little but cannot answer you yet. I hope to decipher it soon.

lisa t

thanks joe. Terry told me it was going to be discussed at a may council meeting and invited me to go however wasn't able to make it.

There is mention in the meeting minutes online but there was no conclusion.

I read something along the lines that they would need to form a group and hire staff to run the program, this seemed to be a negative item in favor of not offering the program.

Will be surprised if Burlingame doesn't adopt the program as most cities from SSF to Menlo Park are in the program


Menlo Park is a High end Upper Class community.
Nice parks, schools, roads, on and on.
How in the world could anyone compare South San Francisco to Menlo Park.
Even the air is better.
Dear Lista, what are you attempting to share with us?

lisa t

simple question, is burlngame going to participate in a lawn be gone program, and if yes when will it start?

Participating Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agencies that offer the lawn be go program are: Brisbane, Daly City, Coastside County Water Dist, Foster City, Menlo Park, Mid Peninsula Water Dist, North Coast County Water District, Redwood City, San Bruno, Cal Water.

If Burlingame is serious about helping out on the water shortage they should participate in the problem. As mentioned before there seemed to be some comments about staffing, this program would require resources that they do not have and would therefore need to hire, so I believe that is the route that they are taking to not participate.

Someone must know what is going on, there was a council meeting that discussed this which I was unable to attend.

Russ do you know, or could you make some phone calls and find out?



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