A backflow valve / preventer occupies a valuable, straightforward function in the treatment of sewage. Namely, it ensures that water pressure sends wasteout
of a toilet toward a treatment facility. The absence of this device makes a home dweller vulnerable to waste flow in the opposite direction, as well as the contamination that comes with it.
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So if Deerfield Beach city worker Stevie Baggs really did steal one of these devices -- as well as two water meters -- it's remarkable that he only received $80 in exchange. The affidavit in his case
indicates that the value of the three devices was $900. One could imagine that the extortion value of these devices was significantly higher (i.e. "So you like your waste water to disappear? How much is it worth to you?"), although there's no evidence that Baggs did anything except fence the devices, which were the city's property.
A utilities supervisor allegedly saw Baggs stealing the backflow valve and water meters on September 15 and Baggs reportedly confessed to the crimes the following day. The two addresses victimized were Johnny McKeithen Park and Freedom Marine. Baggs is charged with grand theft.
[Hat tip: My Acts of Sedition]