HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A Harrisonburg man has been charged after the Harrisonburg Fire Department said he stole at least 14 fire sprinkler connection caps.
Martin Smith, of Harrisonburg, is charged with tampering with a fire protection device, obtaining money by false pretenses, larceny and trespassing.
A local metal scrap yard tipped off the police and fire departments after buying the caps.
Harrisonburg Fire Department Captain Arthur Miller said people have stolen caps before, but never in this capacity.
Two different businesses bought the caps; one of them was Recycle Management on South Main Street.
After contacting them numerous times, they refused to comment.
The sprinkler caps were taken from downtown and along East Market Street.
Miller said sometimes in urban areas, people will go for fire hydrant caps instead.
For Miller, it's a safety concern.
"These caps, their purpose is to make sure that no debris gets inside these systems. if a bird were to build a nest inside of them or a mouse or anything gets into these systems when we hook up to them and flow water, that could potentially clog the system," said Miller.
All of the caps are in Harrisonburg police custody as evidence.
Smith is set to appear in Rockingham County General District Court on October 30 and is currently out on bond.
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