Sylmar condo complex has water meter stolen, water shut off during heat wave

Residents of the Pensfield Place Condos in Sylmar couldn't believe it. Someone had taken a hacksaw to the large security cage around the DWP connection bringing water into the building, and stolen the copper pipes, the meter and just about the entire water setup. The theft left the apartment with no water on a weekend with record heat.

They called the police, who took the left-behind hacksaw for fingerprinting. They called DWP, who told them it was the building's responsibility to fix the problem. 

It took a day to get an emergency plumber to get a temporary setup, so the units could get water, until all the necessary permanent parts were available. But without a regulator, the water pressure is so high that pipes are bursting inside the units, flooding at least one. 

"Our appliances are exploding if we try to use them," said one resident. 

SUGGESTED: California heat wave: Warnings in effect as scorching temps grip region

This is the second time the pipes were stolen from Pensfield Place. The security cage was installed after it happened last year, along with security lighting, even cameras. But this time, the thieves were able to escape the camera's angle to get in.

But the condos have been the target of other crimes too. Just a couple of months ago, someone managed to get into the condo's mail room, and seemingly with a stolen master key, opened all the mailboxes and stole all the mail. Residents called the police and the U.S. Postal Service back then, who are both investigating.

A week later, it happened again, and residents are being told that it may take a while to replace the master locks, because the same thing is happening in several buildings in the area. 

"We are so tired..." said residents, some of whom have lived here for 30+ years, adding that they've never seen back-to-back incidents like they've seen lately. 

"We can put cameras [in], we can put security gates, and do all we can on our end, but where does it end," asked another resident. 

With costs, so far, to fix the damage estimated at over $13,000, the building owners have started a fundraiser to help pay for reparis. That fundraiser can be found by tapping or clicking here.