A fire hydrant was stolen from the front yard of Andra and Ron Grove on July 10. The fire hydrant represented a piece of history and is sentimental to Andra and Ron, who are offering a sizable reward for its return or information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who stole it from their property.
On the morning of July 10 at approximately 4 a.m., the Groves’ neighbor was awakened by lightning and thunder. According to Andra, the neighbor looked out of her second story window and witnessed two men exit a white SUV and steal the 350-pound fire hydrant from her yard “My neighbor said it all happened within three minutes,” Andra said. “They drove up ready, they knew what they were going after.”
Later that day, Andra and Ron created posts on several Canyon Lake Facebook pages offering a reward for the return of their fire hydrant. “No questions asked,” said the post.
The fire hydrant was a gift to Ron, given to him by his stepson, Lee Westfall, when
Ron retired from the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 2005. The fire hydrant had been taken out of service and sat in a fire department salvage yard until Lee, also a fireman, gifted it to Ron. The fire hydrant has been in the Groves’ front yard for the past 13 years.
The fire hydrant was originally located on the corner of Menlo Avenue and West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles. The location of the fire hydrant was significant as it was stationed within the section of Los Angeles damaged during the Watts riots in August 1965. During the riots, property was damaged and destroyed and paint was thrown about. When Lee gave the fire hydrant to Ron it had graffiti and paint spattered on it. The couple never painted over it as they considered it a piece of history.
Shortly after posting their story of the theft on Facebook, several residents offered to contribute to the reward amount. “I will kick in an extra $50,” said Art Femister.
“I am in for $50,” said Christy Schroeder. “My dad was LAPD during the Watts riots and I think this belongs in the hands of someone who appreciated it.”
“I’ll throw in another $50,” said painter Brian Hoffman. “When I painted the house, we had a discussion about that piece. Great story behind it and I would like to see it returned to the Groves.”
A total of $350 in reward money has been offered by residents, bringing the reward amount to $1,000. “We are thankful for all the caring people in this community,” Andra said. Anyone with information regarding the theft of the fire hydrant is asked to email Andra at email@example.com.