KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Stolen Parts Not Worth Much



Bookmark and Share

Dozens of Sioux Falls fast food restaurants, even one of Sanford’s buildings, are on the lookout for a someone who's been stealing from their bathrooms.

The businesses have reported several parts missing from their toilets and urinals, police said the reports started coming in last Thursday and really haven't stopped.

Police said they've received a dozen calls about stolen toilet parts from business such as
Dairy Queen, Burger King and the Royal Fork.

Plumbing businesses have responded first to these thefts and both Hander Inc. Plumbing & Heating and Frisbee Plumbing said they've had just less than 10 calls each in the last five days for stolen parts and it's creating quite the headache for their customers.

Lonny Van Westen, a plumber with Hander Inc. Plumbing & Heating, said they've responded to eight calls about stolen toilet parts from fast food restaurants.

"It's not sanitary, you have to close it down, it's out of order when you don't have a fixture that has a flush valve," said Lonny Van Westen.

These parts have been from men’s' urinals and stalls, both manual and censored auto flushed toilets and he said it doesn't take an expert to steal these parts and the process could be quick.

"With the right tools, you could have it all done within three minutes," said Van Westen.

Police said they've heard of copper thefts, but never toilet parts, in this case, those made of yellow brass, with chrome plating.

Aside from fast food restaurants being hit, one of Sanford's buildings had three bathrooms where parts have been stolen.

"There's probably more out there, we've got, I believe 12 reports of different piping or valves that were taken from toilets," said Officer Sam Clemens.

Clemens said they don't have answers on why this is happening, but have predicted a motive.

"We're guessing that they're probably selling those brass items for scrap," said Clemens.

Van Westen said brass costs around $1.50 a pound, meaning total cost for the stolen scraps would be seven to $10 per toilet, which is next to nothing compared to what it costs to fix the units.

A censored toilet flusher costs $400 and a manual flush, around $260 with parts and service, which is a big price to pay for parts considered a necessity for businesses all over town.

"It's basically an inconvenience for the customer because now they're spending money on a new fixture, which shouldn't have been stolen in the first place," said Van Westen.

TJN Enterprises Scrap Recycling officials said they're working with police to try to track down leads and confirmed the stolen valves are around $1.50 per pound.
     
Police said some of the restaurants do have surveillance video and officers said they planned to look at the video to try to identify any suspects.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

SF Police Chase Ends in Rollover, Arrest

A 30-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after Sioux Falls Police ...

Portrait Of Janklow Dedicated To USD  story with video

A portrait of former South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow now hangs with nine ...

AZ Gun Range Incident Raises Questions  story with video

The right to keep and bear arms, a right so important to our founding ...

South Dakota Tech School Gets $500,000 NASA Grant  Aug. 27

SD Lawmakers Explore Highway Funding, User Fees  Aug. 27

Restaurant Manager: "It sounded Like A Car Hit The Building"  story with video  Aug. 27

South Dakota Tech School Gets $500,000 NASA Grant  Aug. 27

City Proposes Deer Management Program  story with video  Aug. 27

Ready to Start Program Launches  Aug. 27

A Guide To The EB-5 Program Investigation In SD  Aug. 27

Dem Asks For Another Lawmaker To Sit In For Her  Aug. 27

'Cops' Crew Member Killed In Omaha Shooting  Aug. 27

Conservative Americans For Prosperity Comes To SD  Aug. 27

Hoven Students Begin Classes In Former Hospital  Aug. 27

Faulkton To Be Honorary SD Capital For A Day  Aug. 27

USD Using Drone To Capture Images For Marketing  Aug. 27

Portion Of Downtown SF Building Collapses  Aug. 27

ESPN: "First Four" Could Come To SF  story with video  Aug. 26

Joan Jett To Break-In PREMIER Center  Aug. 26

An Injured Bicyclist's Road To Recovery  story with video  Aug. 26

KDLT News Archive
     

Portion Of Downtown SF Building Collapses

A portion of a historic building in Downtown ...

'Cops' Crew Member Killed In Omaha Shooting

The production company behind the "Cops" television show ...

A Guide To The EB-5 Program Investigation In SD

Republican and Democratic lawmakers hope to delve deeper into ...

Restaurant Manager: "It sounded Like A Car Hit The Building"  story with video  Aug. 27

USD Using Drone To Capture Images For Marketing  Aug. 27

Faulkton To Be Honorary SD Capital For A Day  Aug. 27

SF Police Chase Ends in Rollover, Arrest  Aug. 27

AZ Gun Range Incident Raises Questions  story with video  Aug. 27

KDLT News Archive
     

Birds fall in 9th to Saltdogs  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD-- Another fantastic start at the Birdcage from Matt Wickswat went for naught ...

Scheels Plays of the Week from August 18th-24th  story with video

Zach Borg has your Scheels Plays of the Week from August 18th-24th. ...

Wiggins happy to be in Minnesota  story with video

The 4 newest Timberwolves met their fans at the Minnesota State Fair Tuesday and Andrew ...

IFL Expansion includes Barnstormers  story with video  Aug. 27

Missouri is ready for SDSU, Zenner  story with video  Aug. 27

Birds dominated by Bisenius  story with video  Aug. 26

Garretson shuts out SFC girls in soccer  story with video  Aug. 26

Warriors lose VB opener  story with video  Aug. 26

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top