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Diamond Brooks under investigation in water theft
UPDATED 3:45 P.M. - Federal agents swarmed Diamond Brooks Water on Tuesday morning, securing the Yuma business as they served search warrants at the location as well as the owner’s home.
Internal Revenue Service Special Agent Brian Watson said the raid is part of a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Yuma Police Department.
Federal agents also served search warrants at the home of Philip Clark, 48, who owns the company. Clark, who is not related to former Yuma mayor Philip Clark, remains out of custody as the case remains under investigation.
While the IRS is involved in a wide variety of cases involving businesses and money, Watson said he could not elaborate any further on the specifics of the investigation.
According to Sgt. Clint Norred, spokesman for the Yuma Police Department, Yuma police began an investigation into the business, located at 3025 S. Avenue 4E, about 18 months ago after receiving reports that the company had been repeatedly stealing city services.
Norred said over the course of the investigation, Yuma police determined that Diamond Brooks Water had allegedly illegally tapped into a city water line. It would then process the water, he said, and sell it back to the public.
City of Yuma spokesman Dave Nash said while it is not known how long it had been going on before being reported, approximately 74 million gallons, which equates to a loss of over $168,000, were stolen during the course of the investigation.
"If you added up every ounce of our treatment capacity, including elevated storage, that’s roughly 73.5 million gallons," said Kathy Carroll, water treatment manager for the city of Yuma.
That amount of water equates to the entire capacity of the Agua Viva Water Treatment Facility, Main Street Water Treatment Facility, the 16th Street storage tank and the storage tank at Friendship Tower, as well as all the water in the city’s transmission system.
Nash added that he could not provide any information as to how the business may have tapped into the city’s water line.
YPD asked the IRS and FBI for assistance in the case.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.