Saga of stolen swimming pool water

2010-11-06 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — “Someone has stolen the water from our swimming pool!”

And that’s no joke, as police realised when they arrived at this particular swimming pool in Cotswold on Monday morning, after the call came through on 10111.

About 15 000 litres of water has disappeared. And the only clue Dominee Danie du Plessis could find was two deep footprints in his vegetable garden, indicating the thief must have jumped from the wall between the swimming pool and veggie garden.

“Probably after he put the pipe in the water,” Du Plessis said with a sigh, and showed the soles of his shoes, which look “nothing like” the two he pointed out.

He walked on through the veggie garden. “Do I leave tracks that deep?” No, he didn’t.

Du Plessis and his wife, Marlene, pointed out wheel tracks on the lawn. “He must have stopped here with the pump and the tanker truck, and then fed the pipe over the veggie garden into the pool,” they said.

The first time Du Plessis saw that the swimming pool’s water level had dropped dramatically was on Sunday morning.

It had dropped even further by Monday morning. “And I am certain there are no leaks or cracks in my swimming pool.” That’s when he called the police.

Water is liquid gold these days, with severe drought, water restrictions and hefty fines for over-use the order of the day.

But how would the dominee of the Cotswold Evangelical Centre know immediately that someone has stolen his pool water?

“Earlier this year I ordered 6 000 litres of water from a man to come and fill up my swimming pool. He parked his tanker outside the property and pumped the water into the pool with a pipe. I paid him R800 for that.”

That which can be pumped in, can be pumped out, so it wasn’t too difficult for Du Plessis to figure out what was going on.

And he is certain his water doesn’t come from another swimming pool, because the man assured him “the water came from somewhere in Uitenhage. It was full of gravel.”

Although the police did come to investigate, Du Plessis did not have a case number, because the police didn’t give him one. “They did say they would make a note of it”.

Police spokesperson Sandra Janse van Rensburg said that as far as she knows, they have never before received a complaint about swimming pool water theft.

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