Teens Cause Tampering Scare at Michigan Water Plant

Nov. 11, 2004

Police officials in Allegan, Mich., are asking the county prosecutor to charge four teenagers with a misdemeanor for breaking into the city’s water treatment plant last weekend.

The break-in forced Allegan's residents to boil their water as a precaution for about 48 hours. An investigation followed, but no evidence of tampering with the water supply was found.

Police are requesting that the suspects, one 17-year-old and three 14-year-olds, be charged with disorderly conduct. If charged, they could face up to 90 days in jail.

When city workers arrived at the water treatment plant Sunday morning, they noticed things were out of place. A dumpster had been moved aside the huge water tank, allowing access to the ladder leading to the top of the tank. Once on top of the tank, there is access to the latch, which had been unlocked.

"The tank has been examined from top to bottom, and nothing was visibly put into the tank to contaminate it at all," Allegan Police Officer Jim Watson told WOOD-TV.

No residents have become ill from drinking the water.

"We have a confession from one of the individuals. We were glad to learn from the investigation that the water wasn't tampered with. I really don't think these individuals realized the magnitude of what they were doing," said Allegan Police Chief Rick Hoyer.

Source: WOOD-TV