A Collingdale man is accused of stealing water from an elderly widow.
On Thursday at 2:35 p.m., police responded to the 1000 block of Andrews Avenue for a reported water theft. When officers arrived they were met by Mae Westover, an 84-year-old widow. Westover claimed that her neighbor, Mark Getty, 44, was stealing her water by hooking his hose onto the faucet outside of her home.
Westover told police that while her normal water bill is $32, it was $96.25 for the last quarter of 2011 ending in December. Westover claimed she called AQUA to check her outside line from the street to the water meter. The company found no problems and told her to call a private plumber. Westover says a plumber then checked her sidelines and found no problems. Finally, Westover claims her friends from her church found Getty’s illegal hook-up.
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Police found a black hose going from the rear faucet of Getty’s home to Westover’s backyard. Officers say Getty then arrived back at his home as police tried to contact him.
When questioned by police, investigators claim Getty admitted that AQUA shut his water off and that he had been running a hose to the rear of Westover’s house without her permission for the past two months. Police also say that his home was in terrible condition with spoiled fruit on the front porch and torn open garbage bags with trash all over. Police called the Collingdale Board of Health and Code Enforcement to investigate. Officials say Getty inherited the house from a relative and that he had not had any water usage since the first quarter of 2011.
Police contacted AQUA and are currently working with them to resolve Westover’s bill. Police also say Getty has been given until Monday to correct the problem and re-establish water service with AQUA.
Getty will be summoned to court and charged with theft by unlawful taking, criminal trespass and other related charges.