LYNCH, Ky. (WYMT) - City officials in one Harlan County town say a thief could end up costing them thousands of dollars. Lynch officials say a teenager stole 25 water meters.
Lynch city officials say workers at a nearby factory noticed something was wrong with the city storage area a few days ago. Officials investigated and realized 25 spare water meters were gone.
"It was city property so it definitely affected us directly this time, and it affects the community as a whole," said Drew Wilson, Lynch Police Chief.
Harlan County Sheriff's Deputies notified scrap yards and say workers at Baxter Metal had the meters.
Deputies found the teenager who they say brought them in, 18 year old Chase Pennington.
"He admitted to getting these. There were 25 of them taken to the scrap yard," said Winston "Wink" Yeary, Harlan County Sheriff's Department.
Yeary says the meters were worth $2,100 total, but Pennington only got $169 at the scrap yard. The meters were also destroyed.
"He had taken all of the bolts out and stripped all the gears and taken everything out of it," said Yeary.
Officials say the theft hurts the city of Lynch because now they have to replace the water meters.
"We use what we have to supply everyone with water, so it affects everyone," Wilson said.
Wilson says the theft did not affect water service in Lynch, but now the city will feel the financial strain. They do plan to seek restitution in the court process.
Pennington is charged with theft by unlawful taking over $500.