By Danielle Grobmeier and Emilie Eaton
February 22, 2013
Two water valves were stolen from a charter school in Glendale, apparently forcing students to return home.
School administrators from Desert Heights Charter School noticed the above-ground water valves were missing, probably taken overnight, according to the Glendale Police Department. They called police about 7:15 a.m.
The school has approximately 735 students pre-kindergarten through 11th grade and is located on the 5800 block of West Beverly Lane. One parent said that children were sent home but school administrators declined to comment.
The water valves are valued at $3,000, police said. The school administration had no leads or video surveillance available for police, according to authorities.
In such cases, the Glendale Police Department uses an online database system called LeadsOnline to follow the trafficking of scrap metal.
LeadsOnline Metal is used by law enforcement agencies in 30 states. Glendale Police Department got access to the system through a contract with Arizona Department of Public Safety. Investigators are able to search millions of metal transactions online to identify suspects, said Lindsay Williams of LeadsOnline.
The system helped track a suspect involved in the theft of $3,000 worth of copper pipe on Sept. 27 in Glendale. Molina stole over 100 pounds of copper pipes estimated to be worth $29,000 from a vacant complex on Zenjaro Boulevard.
Molina was convicted in Maricopa Superier County Court.