It can cost you up toRs. 1,200 to replace one. The inconvenience caused, however, is worth much more.

The Kothamangalam police have finally succeeded in curtailing a costly nuisance when they apprehended a plumber who stole about 22 water meters in and around the town over the last couple of months. The arrested was identified as Sabu, 54, a native of Pindimana.

While verifying a CCTV footage of a local business, the police found the accused entering the compound and prying off the water meter in the early hours of a day last week. Though the image of the accused was not clear in the visuals, the police cross-checked history-sheeters involved in similar thefts with the CCTV image to identify the accused.

Upon stealing a meter, he used to recover its metal component and sold it to a local scrap dealer for about Rs. 250 each. As he was a plumber, the scrap dealers never suspected of any wrongdoings, officials said.

The recent spate of water meter thefts caused great cost and inconvenience to the property owners as well as to the Kerala Water Authority, which had to provide replacement meters.

The police recovered 22 water meters from Sabu’s house. There were at least five pending cases registered against him, they said.

He was produced before a magistrate and remanded to custody.

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