ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – It’s a growing crime throughout the valley – thieves targeting metal to make some quick cash. But there’s a new move to stop the metal mania and the color green is at the center of the crackdown.

Not only can it cost thousands to fix, it can also shut down your business until it’s replaced, so the city of Roseville wants everyone to go green – green spray paint that is.

Dr Timothy Herman says he lost more than $10,000 the day he had to close the doors to his dentistry office off Coloma Way after thieves took off with his backflow device.

“They basically came down and cut it right off at the ground and just took it,” Herman said. “In a matter of minutes it was gone. You can’t do dentistry without water.”

Police say for the last few years there have been several businesses dealing with the same thing.

“It takes them 20 seconds. They get $50 to $100 for it and it costs the person $1,500 to replace it,” Roseville Police Chief Daniel Hahn said. “The tow, the inconvenience, it goes a lot farther than money.”

It’s also becoming a public safety issue.

“If the backflow isn’t there, it potentially has the open system that is available to let contamination into the distribution center,” Roseville Water Utility Manager Ed Kriz said.

State and local leaders say they have a solution. It’s not a new law or a new enforcement effort. It’s green paint, plain and simple.

City leaders hope painting these devices green will make them easier to identify when they are resold. The paint also lowers the resale value.

“The more we discourage, the tougher we make it to steal things in our city, the more thieves will go somewhere else,” Hahn said.

Dr. Herman didn’t wait to be told. He painted his backflow device the day after his old one was stolen. He says any deterrent is worth it to keep criminals away.

“We’re taking care of people,” he said. “If we can’t take care of someone who needs their tooth taken out, we need to take care of that.”


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