A group of thieves cut off brass fittings from the fire hoses used to protect a northwest Houston apartment complex, detectives said.
Houston police said 174 hoses at the Village Park apartments on Hammerly Boulevard were damaged on July 12.
Investigators said the theft goes beyond just a random crime. The broken hoses pose a safety risk for the residents.
The couplings were sold for scrap at a nearby recycling facility, detectives said. Police said the company recorded all of the seller's information, and that led them to Misael Ramirez.
Ramirez, 22, has been charged with criminal mischief.
According to court documents, the theft cost the apartment more than $23,000.
Ramirez admitted to being one of seven people involved in the crime, police said. Investigators are still looking for the other six.
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