Pair accused of stealing caps off Burbank fire hydrants

A woman and man were arrested Wednesday after a resident spotted them stealing the caps off of fire hydrants, police said.

Luis Castaneda, 39, of Burbank, and Angelina Munoz, 50, of Sun Valley, were taken into custody about 9:40 p.m. in connection with the thefts, according to Burbank police officials.

A resident spotted the pair allegedly stealing the brass fire hydrant caps on the 300 block of Naomi Street and called police with their physical descriptions, Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.

Police arrested the pair at the registered vehicle owner’s home on the 2700 block of Thornton Avenue.

Castaneda and Munoz were allegedly in possession of three fire hydrant caps, he said.

Police have seen a surge of fire hydrant cap thefts in past year and a half, Ryburn said, noting that at least 120 brass caps have been stolen in that time.

Each fire hydrant caps costs about $105 to replace.

Ryburn said there is no indication that Castaneda and Munoz have been responsible or involved in other cap thefts.

Still, the recent spike prompted police to issue several crime alerts to residents to advise them to stay alert.

Police have also been working with local recycling centers to identify any suspects and retrieve the stolen caps.

Ryburn advised residents to quickly inform city officials if they notice water leaking from a fire hydrant or discover that its cap is missing.

The caps protect a hydrant threads and thwarts debris from obstructing the water delivery system, fire officials said.

Damaged threads and debris can prevent firefighters from properly using the hydrants, damage equipment and delay fire response operations.

Munoz was also arrested in connection with possessing an illicit drug, police said.

-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA

Photo: A firefighter puts out a fire at an apartment unit in Burbank last year. Credit: Times Community News

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