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Two arrested in theft of brass fire hydrant caps in Burbank

Brass caps from fire hydrants are the latest targets in a rash of thefts of recyclable material, Burbank police said.

A man and woman were arrested Wednesday after a resident spotted them stealing the caps off fire hydrants, police said.

Luis Castaneda, 39, of Burbank, and Angelina Munoz, 50, of Sun Valley, were taken into custody about 9:40 p.m. in connection with the thefts, according to Burbank police officials.

A resident spotted the pair allegedly stealing the brass fire hydrant caps on the 300 block of Naomi Street and called police with their descriptions, Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn told the Burbank Leader.

Police arrested the pair at a home on the 2700 block of Thornton Avenue. Castaneda and Munoz were allegedly in possession of three fire hydrant caps, he said.

Police have seen a surge of fire hydrant cap thefts in the past year and a half, Ryburn said, noting that at least 120 brass caps have been stolen in that time. Each fire hydrant cap costs about $105 to replace.

Police have also been working with local recycling centers to identify any suspects and retrieve the stolen caps.

In addition to stolen brass caps, thieves have also targeted copper wire and plastic pallets, which can be taken to recycling centers and exchanged for cash.

-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

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