EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Several Edmond residents discovered gushing water in their front yard Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but their outdoor faucet wasn’t broken nor frozen over. Instead, it was the work of the ‘Wet Bandit.’
“Oh my god! Your water is running,” Janice Brown’s niece told her Wednesday night.
“What?! It’s busted, I think,” replied Brown.
Brown then called her husband outside to inspect their water faucet. Turned out, all he had to do was turn it off.
“It instantly hit me,” Brown told KFOR.
It was in that moment she knew the ‘Wet Bandit’ had paid a visit to her home.
“It kind of spooked me out because we didn’t know if he was close by and it was my niece that was here, and she was afraid to go to her car,” added Brown.
Another neighbor told News 4 off camera they were afraid as well, so afraid they stacked chairs in front of their door to prevent the ‘Wet Bandit’ from possibly breaking inside.
Down the street, Taylor Vanderford was also hit.
“It’s one of those things that at first I thought it was a kid, but then I realized, ‘Hey, it’s actually an adult that’s going around doing this. So that’s one of those things, it’s like, is he unstable? Could he cause harm to my family? Is he turning this on? We came outside, opened the door, and now he has an entry to our home,” explained Vanderford. “It could have turned out worse.”
Vanderford said he originally heard what he thought was a bath being drawn for their newborn.
However, the time he heard this didn’t match their bedtime routine, so he began to speculate what it was. He then thought because it was raining, it was just drops of water hitting the home.
Vanderford went outside to grab an Amazon package and that’s when he saw water spewing from his outdoor faucet.
“I was pretty shocked,” he added.
Vanderford said he luckily caught it within five minutes of the ‘Wet Bandit’ turning it on. The faucet’s cover was broken and a portion of his front yard is a bit muddy.
“With the building up around the foundation, it would have been unfortunate if I left it on overnight or if I didn’t see it,” explained Vanderford.
In the three years Vanderford has owned a home near Santa Fe and 15th, he’s never had an issue like this.
It was also a first for Brown.
Edmond Police told News 4 they have identified the ‘Wet Bandit’ as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Edmond Police Department Public Information Officer, Emily Ward said there’s only one person pursuing charges so far.
Brown is considering pressing charges while Vanderford said he won’t, but he hopes the suspect learned a lesson.
Ward said, “Technically turning on a faucet isn’t a crime.”
The charges that could follow this suspect are vandalism or trespassing.
The good news in all of this is Cherokee Plumber LLC Owner and Operator, Colin Frayser said temperatures weren’t low enough Wednesday night to cause significant damage.
“It usually takes more than a few days for it to get cold enough for something like that to happen,” said Frayser. “If there’s water running on an outside faucet, as long as it’s not very cold for very long, it’s probably fine.”
Frayser added even if a faucet is running full blast, it’s unlikely the water will freeze because of the water pressure constantly running.
To keep the ‘Wet Bandit’ from striking your home, Frayser suggested purchasing an exterior faucet lock.
“Probably the easiest thing to do would be to take the handle off. Most of the exterior faucets have a handle that screws on. It’s usually a flat head or a Phillips screwdriver. Just take the handle off and it makes it a lot more difficult for someone to turn that water on,” said Frayser.
News 4 reached out to the City of Edmond Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Bill Begley about what a stunt like this might cost homeowners who may not have seen the faucet turned on until Thursday morning, approximately eight hours later.
He said it all boils down to what their usage was for the month.
Begley provided News 4 with a chart breaking it down.
|Meter Size||Up to 1,000|
|2,000 – 10,000|
Rate per 1,000 Gallons
|11,000 – 20,000|
Rate per 1,000 Gallons
|21,000 or More|
Rate per 1,000 Gallons
|5/8 or 3/4 inch||$16.05||$7.95||$9.19||$11.48|
If a resident uses 1,000 gallons or less in a month, the incident would be an additional $7.95.
If a resident uses 2,000 to 9,000 in a month, the incident would be an additional $9.19.
If a resident uses 10,000 to 19,000 in a month, the incident would be an additional $9.19.
If a resident uses 20,000 or more in a month, the incident would be an additional $11.48.
Brown said hopefully this will be the first and last time the ‘Wet Bandit’ hits her home.
Otherwise, he’ll for sure be caught on camera now that Brown has angled the camera towards her water faucet.