Twice? Construction Company Alleged to Have Stolen Water in Miranda Was Previously Caught in Garberville Doing the Same Thing


Photo taken Monday at the scene of the alleged water theft by the Miranda Community Services District Director.

Early on Monday, a truck driver working for Myers and Sons Construction hooked up to a hydrant in Miranda and filled his truck with stolen water, alleged Jason Saloman, Director of the Miranda Community Service District. When confronted, Saloman said, the employees of Myers said Caltrans gave them permission which was false. And, several sources confirm, this is not the first time they’ve filled a truck with a small town’s water without the knowledge of the water district involved. Multiple people stated the company was responsible for taking water from one of the fire hydrants in Garberville two years ago and also attempting to blame Caltrans.

Lucy Kostrzewa, a resident engineer at Caltrans, confirmed that Myers and Sons was involved in taking water from the Garberville Sanitary District previously. Calling the recent incident “unacceptable,” she said she was in charge of a job that Myers and Sons Construction was working on.  “The very same thing happened two years ago. I found out from the Garberville Water District, [a water truck under direction from Myers and Sons Construction] had hooked up to a hydrant by Napa Auto Parts.” Kostrzewa said that when confronted by a local, the employees of Myers “tried to say that Caltrans had given them permission to draw water.”

The resident engineer said, at the time, she had met with their manager and the involved employees and reiterated that they were not allowed to take water from the towns. She said she told them that Humboldt is in the midst of a drought and that the communities are concerned about water usage. Then, she said she confronted them at the time about telling others that Caltrans gave them permission to take the water. She says that they admitted that they knew that Caltrans did not tell them they could use it.

When she heard about the alleged theft yesterday, Kostrzewa said she was unhappy. “It irked me because this occurred years ago.”

According to Tina Stillwell, business manager at the Garberville Sanitary District, when the incident happened with water being taken from them, Myers and Sons Construction wasn’t charged legally nor did they pay for the stolen water which was estimated to be about 1500 gallons. “We just asked them to stop and they did. We did not get reimbursed and we didn’t pursue it,” she said.

So What Are the Consequences to the Company and Its Employees Now?

The employees of Myers and Son Construction involved in the incident in Miranda on Monday no longer are working with Caltrans. “The individuals responsible for [this] incident were removed from the job. They broke the law, so our only action was to remove them from the project and let the contractor who’s in charge deal with them in whatever manner they choose,” said Myles Cochrane, a spokesperson for Caltrans.

Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office says the alleged water removal is being charged as “Grand Theft.”

“We are planning on pursuing legal actions against them at this point,” stated Jason Saloman, Director of the Miranda Community Service District. “These water thefts in the past have caused problems. [One thief last summer] shut down the hydrant too fast. It blew out the main lines below our tanks and it shut down our town for a couple days.”

Saloman wonders, “How many times have they got away with this before? I think this might be a regular practice of theirs.”

Note: Though Clint Myers left a message on our phone early Tuesday, several attempts to reach him for comment later in the day, went unanswered.

Earlier story: Brazen Water Theft From Tiny Town, Alleges Miranda Community Service District Director



  • Where were they going to use the water? Was it for the work yesterday on maple hills road? Or perhaps the Myers employees have some greenhouses up the hill?

  • Too bad no one wanted to prosecute or make a big story about local tenders who have bent caught filling illegally in miranda in the past.

  • Were they working for caltrans?

    Were they working for cal trans at the time? At any time?
    For if they were, where the hell did cal trans expect them to get water from? Drive it up from San Fran, or some random yard 50 miles away?
    Can we also go after them for “impersonating an official” if they weren’t working for cal trans?

  • The first article shows the semi tanker working on the freeway

  • The employees are not to blame the foreman who instructed them to get it and the job manager both should have written consent before directing employees to do that. Smoke and mirrors my friends

  • Water districts make so much money they have to hide it to keep raising rates, just like Calfire hiding funds offshore to get the fire fee passed. Most of the drought talk is simply a plot to meter private wells and steal water rights.
    The water district should be honored they they are allowed to help out with some extra water they have and not make a big deal over nothing. If it’s the money they are worried about, which they are, why not give the entire district a 10% pay reduction for not being good neighbors and helping out with progress?

    • It’s not the money they are worried about, legally the district can’t sell water anyhow . It’s brazen theft and needs to be stopped . The infrastructure is for residents only and can be damaged as it had in the past by improper use .
      The idea you can try to lie your way out of trouble then try to buy your way out is the intrinsic problem we see in our society today . It’s not just this business that works this way , it is most .
      The service districts are not rich , no one profits . The money is used to insure water for residents and members of that district . It’s a perfect system . It’s socialism at its best . We all need it and no one wants to be independently responsible for maintaining the system , so we all pay a little and it keeps the water flowing . If seems to me you haven’t really thought about it or you are close to the perpetrators to be able to express that point of view without young in cheek .

      • They profit from pyramid pension scams. They should take a bath, they are dirty.

      • Thank you Safe driver, it is not about the money it is about our water, a basic need in a time of drought. We are all trying to be water conscious, using as little as possible and cannot afford to have an unauthorized water truck taking precious water just to pour out and waste on a road.

  • I see water trucks occasionally hooked up to a hydrant in the Blue Lake Industrial Park and also in the vicinity of the Aldergrove Industrial Park. Considering what Fieldbrook Community Services District charges me for a bit of water, stealing 5000 gallons of water might be a profitable venture

  • I am just wondering why does Myers and Sons Construction still have a contract with Caltrans after the first theft and lies?

  • This goes to the top I would imagine. The workers were probably following orders. I wonder what other corners they cut/ rules they ignore?…..

  • There’s been a water truck that goes out Briceland Road with its fill hole open on top so it sloshes a bunch of water out onto the road every time it goes into a curve in the road.

    I’m surprised nobody has put bullet holes into the tanks of water trucks that are obviously stealing water.

    • Those are legal water delivery trucks. So maybe don’t go shooting at trucks….

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      That would be of no help. If you must go that route, you want to disable the vehicle, not waste the product. Confiscate the truck and return the water to the district, with a sheriff or deputies supervising.

  • They say that what ever goes on the internet, stays on the internet. A few of those posting should remember that and make sure what they write is fact, not fiction. We have lived in Miranda for 38 years. During that time, there has been one increase in the water charges and that was only a few years after we moved here and only a few dollars. Before anyone else puts their foot in their mouth, please check your facts.

    • Truth can be boring

      Yeah, but aren’t conspiracy theory’s more intriguing that the truth? I don’t know of any small water district that’s rolling in money, it’s usually the opposite.

  • So it sounds like Myers and Sons will skate on this and their sub-contractor takes the heat. It makes you wonder just how ignorant they are that these thefts go on, because stealing water and not having to truck legally purchased water down from Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District sure improves their profit on the job.

    I hope the DA is paying attention and makes an example out of these guys as a deterrent to others.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Remember the Weott water theft deal? That really stank. People standing around by the truck and nobody asking for names or the company brand. Gotta love the broad daylight caper. Just hook it up and suck the water. Nothing will happen, no consequences.

  • I’ve watch private water trucks hook up and fill up straight out of hydrants in Myers Flat several times. It seems this is a reoccurring problem.

  • Wait why are we being asked to conserve all over the county while this is happening???? Most likely happening more than just one or two times, they just got caught this time. This company should be shutdown for a few weeks and cak trans outta pay for that water, they brought the company here to work.
    Where are the enviros now???? Oh thats right they’re busy vilifying all outdoor growers. These are the issues I would like to see them go after. Where’s epic with their lawsuits?
    I am sick of having to conserve any resource while industry uses a thousand times more and gets away with it. You or I would be arrested for this act. The sheriffs can say what they want but they wont follow up I bet. Time to go old skool and have armed person guarding. Oh but then that person would go to jail for shooting up a water truck. Cant win. Unless ur big biz that is. The same rules need to apply to us all!!! I dont think any cal trans project is more important than our rivers health. Their huge carbon footprint is bigger than arcata/eureka combined, driving around diesel trucks to look for water?!

  • I wonder how much they were then going to charge CalTrans for the water in an upcoming invoice

  • So they are letting their employees take the fall? What absolute trash!!

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    OK, obviously firing a couple guys isn’t enough if it’s happening repeatedly. Perhaps suspending a contractor license is in order.

  • In a drought and no one monitoring the water?Come’on man

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