Though it's still a rare crime in the
The Orange County Register reports that hydrants can fetch more than $300 at recycling yards.
Many cities have been hit by thieves eager to take advantage of relatively high metal prices.
In response, the state passed laws making it illegal for junk dealers and recyclers to possess municipal metal such as hydrants and manhole covers.?
Removing a hydrant isn't easy — failure to turn off the water could unleash a geyser 100 feet tall.
The hydrants were reported stolen Oct. 10; another three hydrants were reported stolen Sept. 19.