Thieves Digging Up, Hauling Off Water Meter Boxes

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The Odessa Police Department is getting hit with a type of theft they have never seen before and it's happening all over the city, especially on the west and south sides.

Joe Valdez lives on the north side of Odessa.

He says, "The neighbor next door's was stolen. This house in front of me [had theirs] stolen and one at the end of the block was stolen."

Their water meter boxes and cast-iron casings surrounding them were dug up and hauled off. When he called the police, they said they were already investigating.

"We had a witness that observed two males digging up a hole in the ground and taking off with one of the meter boxes," Sherrie Carruth, with the Odessa Police Department, said.

David Juan Acosta and Joe Rey Jacques were arrested after being caught with four meter boxes and casings.

The city of Odessa says that one of the boxes values at $88.00.

Police were then led to CMC Recycling in Odessa where 75 more boxes and casings were discovered.

Carruth says, "The 75 of them that were taken, you're looking at a value of over $6,600.00."

CMC Recycling would not agree to go on camera but they did say two of their employees are currently suspended for taking in the stolen boxes and casings.

Some of those stolen goods have since been returned to the city of Odessa.

The police and Joe Valdez say this type of crime is new to them.

"I've lived in Odessa most of my life and I've never even heard of it," Valdez said.

The police department says they think the theft has been going on for at least a couple of months.

The investigation is ongoing.