NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Berry Hill Police Department is searching for a group of people who allegedly ripped expensive water pipes out of the earth.

Detectives said it happened four times in September alone. One of those incidents happened during the early morning hours of Sept. 27 on Melrose Avenue.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a geyser of water shooting 10 feet into the air and ponding water forming on the grass.

It’s here that detectives said thieves stole a commercial grade backflow preventer. Police said the suspects wrapped a chain around the expensive sprinkler system apparatus and ripped it right out of the ground.

According to Detective Sgt. Tony Russo of the Berry Hill Police Department, the suspects were driving a beat up pickup truck with a white tail gate and no hubcaps.

Russo confirmed that this same type of incident has happened four times in September alone. He estimates it will cost thousands of dollars to replace the heavy piece of metal.

“Two [thousand] to $3,000 just to buy one of those , and then however much it costs…for someone to come replace it, not to mention how much water you just used up shooting out of the ground like a fountain,” Russo said.

According to Russo, the amount of valuable metals in the apparatus is minor compared to the value of the theft, vandalism, and repairs.

“Depending on what they get out of those, they’re made out of brass, copper, they’re very heavy…50 bucks is 50 bucks to somebody.”

Russo had this message for the backflow preventer thieves targeting Berry Hill businesses.

“It’s not if, it’s when we’re going to get you,” he said.

For a few dollars of potential profits, Russo said the thieves are now facing theft over $10,000, which is a felony.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Berry Hill Police Department at 615-297-3242.