published Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Alabama man arrested, charged with stealing 240,000 gallons of water

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — DeKalb County Drug Task Force agents on Wednesday arrested and charged a resident of the Whiton community with theft of water service, the sheriff said in a news release.

Sheriff Jimmy Harris said the agents went to a home on county road 351 looking for 57-year-old William Andrew Baker on a felony warrant stemming from a 2010 drug arrest. Baker also was wanted for questioning involving water theft from a main water line belonging to the Northeast Alabama Water District, according to the release.

DeKalb County Road Department employees were grading on county road 351 when an operator hit a main water line, according to a Feb. 14 report filed with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office. The Northeast Alabama Water District was contacted and found the main had been tapped into by an unauthorized person and was supplying water illegally to a residence listed to William Andrew Baker, according to the report.

Records showed water service to the residence had been terminated three times in 2010 because of the theft of services. About 240,000 gallons of water valued at $1,290 was stolen, according to water company records.

Baker was interviewed, arrested on the felony warrant and also charged with theft of services second degree, according to the sheriff.

He is being held in the DeKalb County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.

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