Carroll County Sheriff's Office reports rise in water theft

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is sending the message that water theft will not be tolerated.

The Sheriff’s Office reported an increase of “water thefts by contractors, subcontractors, lawn maintenance personnel and others” over the past few years, according to a Wednesday news release. The Sheriff’s Office did not specify the degree to which water thefts have increased.

“Tampering with water meters is theft; from the county as well as fellow users. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to investigating any and all instances of tampering and theft,” according to the release.

If water theft is determined through an investigation, the Carroll County Bureau of Utilities will start a “formal assessment to ascertain if any damages occurred based on the illegal removal of water or tampering with a hydrant,” the release states.

Anyone found to be in violation may face civil penalties and/or criminal charges for tampering with or damaging a water meter or stealing water, according to the release.

Suspected water theft should be reported to the Sheriff’s Office at 410-386-5900.

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