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Vandals target HOA’s irrigation system

Posted: August 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Local sheriff’s deputies are looking for vandals who destroyed part of an irrigation system owned and maintained by a local homeowners association, according to the association’s manager and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

On July 22, sometime between 1 a.m. and 11 a.m., vandals broke part of the irrigation system maintained by the Westridge/Valencia Homeowners Association on Sycamore Meadow Drive, just west of The Old Road, according to a report filed by the deputies who responded to the call.

A copy of a photograph taken by deputies of the vandalism and included in the report, shows pieces of PVC tubing apparently ripped out of its mooring and left broken.

When deputies interviewed Michelle Olfert, manager of the Westridge/Valencia HOA, they learned that it wasn’t the first time vandals had targeted the association’s irrigation system.

“The informant (Olfert) reported that on the indicated date and times persons unknown vandalized the irrigation pipes at the location causing the listed damage,” the responding deputies wrote in their report.

“The informant said the Homeowner’s Association has an ongoing problem with people breaking their irrigation system,” they wrote.

Damage caused by the most recent incident amounted to a cost of $60.

The crime itself is being investigated as misdemeanor vandalism.

“I think it’s just kids,” Olfert told The Signal Sunday. “They just crunched it.

“Right now, we’re just reporting any instance of vandalism,” she said.

Olfert told responding deputies, according to their report, that there are no surveillance cameras in the area where the irrigation pipes are located and they do not know who is causing the damage.

Issues involving irrigation, the statewide drought and homeowners associations have been in the news lately, with state water regulators calling for enforcement of water-wasting guidelines and instituting protection from retaliatory associations for homeowners who allow their lawns to dry.

Under legislation signed into law last month, local governments and homeowner associations can no longer penalize residents for allowing their lawns to dry up and turn brown under a law approved by legislators that took effect last week. And that won’t change as long as the state’s declared drought remains in effect.
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