$100M flood project target of thieves, workers say

LAS VEGAS — The Regional Flood Control District says they're making strides in improving flood channels through the Desert Rose Golf Course. But the whole project seems to be the target of thieves.

It's a big enough of a problem that one construction worker, who did not want to be identified, said it's plaguing the project.

"They just try to destroy everything. You try to do a job — but every time they (thieves) tear up something and break something that puts us behind."

Metro Police say they have responded twice in the last few months to the course. Once for reports of kids throwing rocks and once for grand larceny. 

"It's more theft than anything else," said Bill Wellman, Division Manager and Director of Las Vegas Paving. "Copper wires from pumps and other kinds of equipment."

Wellman says it doesn't stop there, adding it's happening at construction sites across the valley.

"Vandalism occurs at every one of our projects," he says, guessing it must be "human nature."

Commissioner Larry Brown said there's not much authorities can do other than ask the public to call police when they see something suspicious. 

The $100 million project can hand some of the setbacks however, according to Wellman. "Is it thousands of dollars? Yes, absolutely. Is it hundreds of thousands of dollars? No."

The project is being funded by dollars from sales tax revenue. Wellman adds there is no budgeting set aside for theft and vandalism.

In September 2012, a man died after being swept away by flood waters and many homes were left damaged. Officials say the golf course has already been lowered about 15 feet and has been constructed to direct waters through the 4-mile area.

The project is expected to be completed by next spring. 


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