PORTLAND, Ore. -- Several neighbors in Southeast Portland said someone has been turning on their outdoor faucets and leaving them on overnight.
The apparent prank is happening in the Colonial Heights and Ladd’s Addition neighborhoods. In some cases the vandalism has raised water bills and caused flood damage.
“The water was all running down towards my garage,” said Teri Mariani, who woke up Wednesday morning to find water flowing from her outdoor faucet near Southeast 22nd Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard.
“I said ‘hmm.. the water bandit got me.’”
Mariani said her next door neighbor’s faucet was also on. The night before it happened, Mariani said another neighbor had been targeted by the perpetrator.
Around the corner, Art Andrews said someone turned on his outdoor faucet a few days earlier, causing water to flood his basement.
“It's a very quick, easy way to lash out,” said Andrews.
His wife, Sharon Flegal, wished she could talk to the person responsible.
“What's troubling them enough to want to do this much damage potential damage?” Flegal wondered.
Like many neighbors, the couple purchased a locking hose bib to protect their outdoor water sources.
“We've been selling an awful lot of faucet locks,” said Lois Hankins, owner of Hankins True Value Hardware on Southeast Hawthorne.
She said the store typically sells just one bib lock a year but now they’re having trouble keeping them in stock.
“This has been very, very hard on everybody,” said Hankins, adding that faucets outside her store and her home had been left on multiple times in the past two weeks.
“One morning we were out here bringing in our freight and the water was running all over the ground,” said Hankins. “Water is very expensive in this town.”
Police said whoever is responsible for the prank could face multiple charges including vandalism, trespassing and theft. They're asking victims to file online police reports, and if they have surveillance video, to share it with investigators.