It all started Thursday morning with a fire hydrant and a photo.
Neighbors off 14th Street and Rancho Drive spotted something unusual.
A truck with the company name E & J Construction LLC siphoning hundreds of gallons of water just steps from their doors out of fire hydrants.
So they decided to snap off a few photos and turn them over to ABC15 to look into.
“When they’re hooking up directly with a hose, that’s something that’s a little off and it shows they may be stealing water,” said Phoenix Water Services spokesman Troy Hayes.
Turns out the suspicions were warranted.
We reached out to the city who tells us while companies can be permitted to withdraw city water, this one wasn’t.
“What we can tell off the number from the side is that they don’t have a permit to be taking water from a city of Phoenix fire hydrant,” said Hayes.
Hayes says many other companies are permitted, but each is given a special meter that tracks their usage.
But when the water’s stolen, the cost gets passed on to customers.
“In the end, it’s stealing from our rate payers,” said Hayes.
So we tracked down the company listed on the truck and its owner based on state records to a Goodyear neighborhood.
That’s when the story takes another turn. When we told them about the theft, they told us, it wasn’t them.
Even more, the truck in the picture with E & J construction LLC decals wasn’t theirs. They even provided us with pictures as proof.
They tell us someone named Grace has been using their company name and even a truck with their decals around the Valley.
We even found her named listed on several websites as the owner of an E & J Construction LLC.
The real owners have since launched their own investigation into the matter but did not want to go on camera.
At this point, the City of Phoenix has launched an investigation into tracking down the owner of the truck who could face felony theft charges for stealing the water.
As for the owners of E & J Construction, they say they’re hiring a legal firm to find out who this person is and make sure they clear their name as well.