Mesa PD: Man arrested in thefts of water valves

MESA, AZ - Mesa police arrested a man who could be responsible for thefts of more than 100 "backflow prevention valves" worth between $60,000 to $160,000. 

Police say on January 31, they arrested 28-year-old Roberto Baltazar Perez near Power Road and Main Street. 

Police have recently been tracking Perez as he allegedly stole the valves from locations throughout Mesa. 

According to police, the valves are used to protect potable water from contamination due to backflow and are secured in metal cages, bolted to concrete pads. 

Police report that for the past ten months there have been 107 cases of stolen backflow valves in Mesa. Each valve is valued between $600 and $1500. 

Police say Perez was arrested in December when police found several stolen valves in his vehicle. 

He later posted bond and police, after getting a warrant, attached a tracking device to his car and tracked him to additional locations, where valves were stolen. 

Perez has been charged with 15 counts of burglary and criminal damage.

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