During the Month of November approximately 30 Back Flow water valves were stolen from businesses along the Jefferson Ave. and Adams Ave business district. The Suspect would break the back flow valve from the business causing a geyser of water to flow from the business until being detected by a passerby. Many of the businesses were forced to be without running water until the valve could be replaced.
On Novemeber 19, 2007 at 1000 hours, Riverside Sheriff Detective Cornett from the Perris Station, received a call of a subject attempting to recycle 14 back flow valves at a recycling plant in Perris. Detective Cornett was aware of the recent back flow valve thefts from the City of Murrieta. Detective Cornett responded and detained 23 year old William Franklin Harris Jr. A check of the serial number on one of the back flow valves returned as being stolen from a business in Murrieta on 11/20/2007.
Detective Matt Haddad and Robert Anderson responded to the Perris Station to investigate if Suspect Harris was the person responsible for the recent rash of valve thefts from Murrieta businesses. Detective Haddad found that 8 of the 14 valves Suspect Harris was attempting to recycle, were stolen from Murrieta Businesses located off of Jefferson Ave. Suspect Harris was taken to the Murrieta Police Department were he was interviewed and admitted to stealing 20 back flow valves in Murrieta dating back to the beginning of November. William Harris Jr. was arrested and charged with Grand Theft. Harris was also found to be on Formal Probation for a previous drug offense and additionally charged with Violating Probation.