Rogue plumber caught in the act in Tijuana

Allegedly stealing meters and pipes

Police photo of José Humberto Jacquez Soto
  • Police photo of José Humberto Jacquez Soto

A man allegedly posing as an employee of the state water agency was arrested in Tijuana on Sunday, March 17, after one of his victims noted water spewing from a meter in front of his home and called police.

Officers arrested 29-year-old José Humberto Jacquez Soto in front of a residence on Avenida Enciso in Colonia Artesenal, according to a police news release. Authorities said the suspect was posing as a worker for CESPT (Comisión Estatal de Servicios Públicos, the state public services commission) in order to steal pipes and water meters, presumably for their recycling value.

Unfortunately for Jacquez Soto, the resident was at home and called 066 (the Tijuana equivalent of 911) after noting a huge water leak coming from the meter in front of his home, police said. Upon investigating, officers discovered that the suspect had dismantled the water meter in front of the victim's home.

When asked why he’d done it, Jacquez Soto responded that he was a CESPT employee who was acting on orders from a superior to place a device on the meter that would reduce water usage. When officers searched a satchel the suspect was carrying, they discovered  35 original water bills, tools, and plumbing accessories.

After a hearing, a municipal judge turned the case over to state prosecutors

The suspect claimed the alleged victim punched him during the confrontation, leaving a mark on his face.

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