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article imagePolice flush out man accused of stealing restaurant plumbing

By Karen Graham     Oct 20, 2014 in Crime
St. Petersburg - St. Petersburg, Fla. police have arrested a homeless man accused of stealing plumbing parts from toilets in a number of restaurants in the area. The alleged thief is one Brian Rinda, said to be 28 years old.
Brian Rinda has been charged with eight counts of grand theft and one charge of petit theft in what has become an ongoing investigation. He is accused of stealing the handles used for flushing the toilets, as well as pipes from the toilets.
Rinda is accused of stealing the plumbing from Cracker Barrel, Burger King, McDonald's, Bob Evans, Publix, Subway and other restaurants in the Saint Petersburg area. Even Albert Whitted Park was hit by the thefts. Police are saying that about $1,000 worth of damage was done in the thefts. The brass valves and pipes were traded in at a recycling center at 5601 Haines Rd..
Police were able to solve the case with the use of surveillance camera videos used in the various restaurants. The videos, along with the assistance of the recycling center, sunk the alleged thief. In Florida, recycling centers must ask for identification from anyone presenting materials in exchange for cash. Rinda is being held at the county jail on $20,000 bail. It was not known if he has retained an attorney.
Brass is a yellow metal and easy to identify. It's found in toilet fixtures, some door knobs and is often used in trim hardware. Because brass is a non-ferrous metal, it is worth money when turned in to be recycled. Because of its density, the pounds will add up to a nice profit.
More about Florida, toilet parts, handles and pipes, Homeless man, St petersburg
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