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MODESTO, CA - The City of Modesto is spending about $3,500to replacefive stolen fire hydrants, which were taken in the northern tip of the city.

The thief, or thieves, knew what they were doing since they had the right tools to get into a nearby valve and shut the water off.

Modesto Water Department manager Ed Giuntoli said two groups might be responsible.

"Where do they go? Good question, either scrap somewhere , or possibly a contractor using the hydrants on a job somewhere," Giuntoli said.

None of the stolen hydrants were in neighborhoods where there are homes.They were in locations where homes are scheduled to be built at some point.

If the hydrants are being traded in for cash, the thief, or thieves, would only get about $12. Scrap metal or iron produces about $0.12 a pound when taken to recyclers,according to Giuntoli. The weight of a hydrant is about 100 pounds.

By TimDaly,tdaly@news10.net