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


Tanker truck at work after loading up with water from Miranda. [All photos provided by Jason Saloman]

This morning about eight, Jason Saloman, Director of the Miranda Community Service District, spotted a tanker truck parked, he says, across a handicapped parking space drawing water from one of the town’s fire hydrants.

Saloman knew immediately that the trucker was taking Miranda water without being authorized. “We are not allowed to sell or sublet our water–only Cal Fire or the Miranda Fire Department should be using our hydrants,” he said.

He quickly asked who authorized the water removal. He says that the trucker and another man told him that they were working on the freeway and Caltrans gave them permission to use the water.

Saloman said, he knew that wasn’t true. He asked to speak to a supervisor. One of the men called someone he said was the supervisor but refused to let the Saloman speak to the individual on the other line.

“I felt they were trying to divert me long enough to fill the tank,” the water district director said. “I told them ‘We’re in the middle of a drought and you are loading up I don’t know how much water… [T]hey continued to fill their truck even when I informed them that they were stealing and they had no right to access our water”

Eventually, Saloman called law enforcement. At that point, a supervisor from Myers and Sons Construction showed up and tried to pay for the water. But Saloman said he couldn’t accept it because they aren’t supposed to sell the water.

When contacted Caltrans denied giving permission for the water draw. “I can confirm that we did not authorize that,” says spokesperson Myles Cochrane.

Clinton Myers, a spokesperson for Myers and Son Construction, the contractor that the water tanker is subcontracted to said, “We’re doing a full investigation about how we got to where we got…We recognize we need to do what we can do to make it right with the water district.”

Myers said his group has attempted to reach the water district to “make it right.” However, he said that the tanker was not completely topped off. “That tanker was not filled up entirely at all,” he stated.

We’ll let you know whether the tiny town gets satisfaction from the company as soon as we find out.



  • concerned neighbor

    Oh well, it wasn’t topped off so in that case it’s ok? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

    • They’re admitted thieves. (Oops!) But they only stole some (maybe a little, maybe a lot) – but they didn’t steal as much as they could carry. They had room to carry more, but they didn’t. Because they got caught. So they’re lousy thieves, to boot.

  • Mite wanna spend some of your dirty money on a legit pr rep [edit].

    Make it right? how about burn in hell?

  • There are a LOT of contractors who pull these kind of stunts. Another favorite is running hoses from, and plugging into the next door electrical outlets to run saws, etc, while building new homes that aren’t plugged into the grid yet. MOST of the time the neighbors are off at school and work and don’t know what hit them when the bills come.

    Nothing more uplifting to deal with than a bratty contractor with a sense of entitlement that much bigger than his own skin.

    I had one get out of his cherry red Ferrari to explain to me he had no choice but to hire Mexicans because conforming to state rules and the amount for the insurance would put him out of business. I told him it might put him out of his Ferrari, but his business would be fine.

    • So very true, nines. I had a contractor working on a neighbor’s home run an electrical line to my house to run a power saw. I came home, pulled the plug. He came over and screamed at me, in Spanish, that he had a right to the electricity, as he was a self employed contractor (?) I laughed, then he tried, “the owner told me it was okay. I informed him I was the owner, and no, it is not okay. Then he tried to pay for the electricity with a check from a bank in Tijuana (no joke, it was) I said no, and locked the cover over the outlet. Oh, and he tried to plug back in while I was in the house getting the lock. Moral of story, lock everything up!

  • Missing from the article: who was Meyers doing the work for? kinda sorta implies they are, in fact, a Cal Trans subcontractor, and were maybe taking the water, ok, stealing it, oopsie! and now one may ask: are they charging Cal Trans and therefore us the taxpayers for the stolen water?

    Is that water worth more than $950?….hmmmm….and supposing instead they were instead selling to a grower how would that be ‘handled’?

    This is an issue you, dear red headed person, should be more than extra clear about I think…and I am sure you will post more about it later.

  • Kim, please read the Sept. 17th Triplicate, unbelievable!

    • I skimmed it but didn’t see anything relevant to this article. Did I miss something?

    • do you mean the Yurok Tribe pulling out of the Klamath agreements article, always a fun subject?

      Then the Hoopa Tribe says they are suing over Clean Water Act violations.
      It is interesting, but different water at that.
      Thanks for the heads up tho..

  • I saw that this morning when I got to work and was very suspicious. They had a huge hose going from the hydrant straight to the water truck. But I remember when locals used to take water and fill their water trucks and sell the water. Come on let’s be honest at a time when water is scare.

  • Well construction is the most corrupt line of work in the world. No surprises here…

  • Kym, I know its not a joking issue with the drought going on, to be stealing water!!! but I couldnt help but get a big chuckle out of the power cord idiot stealing power!!! OMG what was he thinking!!! I have asked around up on HWY 36 what the charge is for water tankers to deliver water for “Agricultural” purposes, and it varies. Some charge by the hour, and others charge by the load. Either way its a “Win-Win” for the person who has unlimited supply of water to sell!!! I myself conserve water every way I can, so we dont run out, up on our MTN!!!

  • Sounds like a case of deferred fault . Plausible deniability at its best . One hand washing the other from responsibility.
    Compensation is not what is needed . Someone taking responsibility for their actions is necessary . In a drought water theft should be dealt with severely no matter the recipient . Do you offer a cash option to a thief at Walmart ? Can they just pay and say sorry ? No . Handcuffs and charges ensue , and not days later ! The responsible party , the guy caught taking water should be sitting in the hooscow right now .

    • Honestly the guy taking the water wouldn’t take the fall in a perfect world.

      Management needs to issue an apology for their “mixup.” And be tried like any other thief if the water was in fact not permitted by caltrans.

      I call it conspiracy really, not trying to be dramatic but unless they can better explain the mix up and fast, no ones gonna believe a few upper level ppl weren’t involved.

      Innocent until proven guilty but damn this story is hard to swallow.

  • Well it was topped off because it’s directly across from my house and when they finished filling the tanker, they had an additional 800 gallon clear tank on the rear of the trailer they topped off. They lie

  • It’s great when you catch them red-handed. Kym, did the sheriff ever show up? I hope the sheriff and DA pursue this.

    My neighbor just discovered someone stole approximately 6,000 gallons from his water bladder in the night over a period of a few days. That water was winter stored water by someone who cares about the environment. Every day the water trucks are grinding up our road to the big grow scenes and one of them is a goddamn thief.

  • worlds gone nutters

    No sheriff or chp, eh? Could they maybe at least call the company since the name is in a pic in article? Geez and they wonder why so many folks want vigilante justice back. Spending all this time and money for permitting water on peoples land but no recourse if you just straight steal it. Hmm maybe its not just the pot growers….(sic)
    How does cal-trans get away with this crap??? Seeing their water tenders spraying all day to keep dust down is f’n horrible. If you owned a business & contracted out with companies who were cutting corners to save/pocket money (with your knowledge) which then resulted in say, a highway being built up off the ground that then collapses with workers on it injuring many workers, would you still be allowed to conduct business even after being found guilty? & then get to go back to work on same project within a few weeks?
    Or allowed to keep working after disturbing (destroying) a native site? Or be getting tax dollars for your projects and have the state investigate you&find that you have an excess of un-needed positions costing tax payers big bucks, to the tune of 3300+ not needed positions costing tax payers over a billion dollars a year? & get to keep operating when a year later you have only eliminated 140 positions?
    cal trans projects requiring lots of water outta be postponed until a certain amount of rain falls. Highways are not more important than lives.
    Too bad cal trans didnt have their water trucks nearby when fire hydrants went dry in middletown in the middle of fighting the fire.
    Water tenders & car washes outta be shut down during droughts!!!

    • nutters, a few clarifications to the misinformation you are propagating:

      Caltrans and our contractors only use water when required to keep dust down. Dust is considered a pollutant when it settles into streams, just like muddy water running into streams.

      Caltrans was NOT found ‘guilty’ of any wrongdoing in the falsework collapse at the Willits Bypass. Our contractor is solely responsible for worksite safety, and our own internal investigation will show the facts when it is finalized and released.

      No Native American site was destroyed at the Willits Bypass.

      The study that showed Caltrans was greatly over staffed was flawed, and has already been debunked.

      No potable water has been used for the bypass construction. Most of the water used was treated gray water from the City of Willits, next was water collected by our contractor during winter months and stored onsite, next was water pumped from bridge excavations, and finally a small amount of well water high in minerals including arsenic was used.

  • Jason was already talking to them when I came out to see why they were filling up. My family owns the local water business and Miranda as well as all other towns legally choose not to sell water for fear of the state imposing fines or taking legal action. It was very apparent the company had made assumptions about getting the water then lied hoping Jason would just believe them. Lucky for our community he is a board member for the water district.

  • Is it even the water districts water? How can they claim ownership of it to begin with and stealing money is no better. Water districts are glass houses.

  • So I know that the water district can’t charge for the water but can they sue for damages?

    Figure out how much it would cost to replace the amount a water the stole, treat the water, storage & time for employees to figure all the info out & send them an inflated bill. Make it clear the bill is for the damages NOT the water so it covers their ass.

    This can not go without punishment!! It keeps happening over & over so put a stop to it. Would it be ok for a grower to steal the water? No! They would be arrested! So why is it ok from some company to do the exact same?! Not ok!!

  • Stealing is stealing!!!water wars begin.i heard lies in this story.shame on them.

  • Every month I carefully pay for the water we use at our home. Normally at this time of the year, the bill runs $40+ for each summer month. In the winter, we only use $12 (minimum charge) worth. This year, with the drought, we have kept our summer usage to $12 (Please don’t look at our brown garden.) We do this so that, should, heaven forbid, the water is needed for a house fire or a wild fire, it is more likely there would be enough. These water thieves are taking that same water, potable water to water down the dust.

    Currently, my house has a thin layer of, not dust, but fine ash from the fires in the general area. I much prefer that ash over the dust from Cal Trans. The water from the hydrants, etc. is for fire protection and drinking.

    As one who has been a past member of the board of directors of the Miranda Community Services District, I feel that prompt action be taken against the contractors involved in this theft. If the dollar amount is high enough, it is Grand Theft. Do we have to spend $100 for every hydrant or stand pipe in the town to have a camera focused on it? At the very least, those contractors should pay for said cameras and their installation.

    A very angry citizen of Miranda

  • This same company was caught stealing water from garberville community services district last summer,police responded and arrested the individuals,they were later charged with grand theft,seems like they didn’t learn their lesson,this company is a repeat offender

  • So why weren’t they made to put it back?

    • Hmmmmm….. That is Clinton Meyers. Son of CC Meyers. The ones who rebuilt all of the overpasses in L.A. after the 90’s quake. They ran over my chocolate lab while building the Folsom Auburn bridge. The workers threw her in the bushes even though she had tags on with a home number. Belive it or not…. This was the same day my grandmother died. My Dad lost his dog and his Mom the same day. Wierd today is his birthday 9/23/52.
      If they were the ones who busted out the freeway paving here in sohum…. I say water well used before the rains hit. If the water went to the bypass… Thats bullshit.

    • They can’t put the water back into the system after it’s been contaminated in their non potable water storage tank on their semi

  • Pingback: Twice? Construction Company Alleged to Have Stolen Water in Miranda Was Previously Caught in Garberville Doing the Same Thing | Redheaded Blackbelt

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  • I just randomly stumbled upon an ad for a “Heavy Highway Project Engineer – Northern California” posted by Myers and Sons Construction, LP. Perhaps at least one higher-up head did roll and they are looking for a replacement. Or perhaps not, I don’t know. But an interesting coincidence either way.

  • Pingback: Supervisors Vote Against Sending a Letter to Caltrans About the Miranda Water Theft | Redheaded Blackbelt

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