Thefts continue to plague Atlanta water department

Thefts continue to plague Atlanta water department

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ATLANTA -

Despite pledges from Mayor Kasim Reed's administration, thefts are continuing to happen at water plants in Atlanta, FOX 5 has learned.

The city said that it follows Homeland Security guidelines when it comes to protecting its water operations. However, FOX 5's Morse Diggs found some apparent flaws in security during an informal 30 minute check on Tuesday.

A fence at the Stonewall substation on Mason Road south Atlanta was found to have flimsy or no fasteners to secure it.

"Frankly I was shocked you were wiggling the fence and all that and nobody approached you at all," Atlanta City Councilmember Felicia Moore said. "We paid close to $1 million, if not more, to integrate the cameras so that we would have people watching."

On Monday, FOX 5 reported on the theft of $150,000 worth of giant industrial meters at a pipe yard on the north side of Atlanta.

Copper piping and tapping machines have been reported stolen from the Stonewall substation, sources told FOX 5.

"This is ridiculous. The security is not there in place and it's apparent if anybody knows with common sense this is an inside job, what would a person need them for? Unless they have their own side business or they are selling it to contractors," said Gina Pagnotta-Murphy, the president of PACE Atlanta -- the Professional Association of City Employees Union.

Atlanta's water rates are among the highest in the country.  Top city managers have not requested to FOX 5's requests for comments about the water thefts.

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