City officials said thieves played a role in the flooding that hit downtown Bakersfield Thursday night.
Public works said thieves took copper wiring out of the pumps at 24th and Oak streets so the pumps didn’t turn on like they were supposed to when it rained last night,
Raul Rojas, the head of public works, said a large storm pipe runs west down 22nd Street and drains storm water into a sump at 24th and Oak streets.
Pumps then lift the water into a nearby canal.
The copper wire theft wasn’t discovered until the pumps failed to go on.
The system is responsible for draining storm water for most of downtown.
Bakersfield police said the theft matches several other recent wire thefts around town.
Police officers said it’s possible a crew is committing the thefts and police are working with local recycling yards to try and catch the criminals.
The city did file a report with police and the case is being investigated.
Some businesses in downtown reported water up to their doors but told 23ABC it wasn’t any worse that what they usually see during heavy rain.