PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Important pieces of fire prevention equipment have once again become the target of thieves in some Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Brass Fire Department Connections (FDC) are being stolen throughout Northern Liberties and Fishtown neighborhoods.
Authorities suspect they are being sold for scrap, creating an expensive and potentially hazardous problem for home and business owners.
Matt Dunphy keeps a keen eye on his connector stolen in the middle of the night. His security cameras captured surveillance video of one of the suspects.
You can hear the sound of the brass as the thief causally walked away with the connector located outside of Dunphy's home on Callowhill Street.
"Four years ago it cost me $400 to replace that; now I haven't heard back from the sprinkler company. I'm imagining post-Covid prices are probably not any cheaper," said Dunphy.
Action News first met Dunphy in 2019. This was the first time his connector was stolen. The crucial part is needed for firefighters to operate the internal sprinkler systems and put out fires quickly.
And today, he's not alone.
Dumphy counted 24 broken valves along Front and 2nd streets.
"I never paid attention, actually I never knew about," said Gato Espinel, the co-owner of Me on 2nd Salon.
But it's something Espinel learned about quickly. He's been hit twice, one was stolen just weeks after it was repaired.
"I'm sure all the business owners are frustrated with it, or landlords are frustrated with it because again, it's not a cheap thing to replace just to be stolen again," said Espinel.
A repair in some cases can cost more than $1,000.
Dunphy is working to get his connection back and brainstorming how to keep it from happening again.
Anyone with onfomation on the suspect seen on video, call Philadelphia police.