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Man arrested for opening city fire hydrants to steal brass rings

  • A fire hydrant and a street sign take up most of the plot of land that could be considered a park according to the city of Chicago on the corner ofN. Richmond and West Glenlake in the Northwest of the city. Heather Stone/Chicago Tribune file.
A fire hydrant and a street sign take up most of the plot of land that could…
June 19, 2013|By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas | RedEye

The heat isn't the only reason some Chicagoans defy the Fire Department by prying open local fire hydrants in the summer. For one West Garfield Park man, the reason was to get at the brass rings inside them, which can be worth $50 or more, according to officials.

Corey M. Steele, 33, was arrested Tuesday morning in the 2600 block of West Maypole Avenue for taking at least nine brass rings from fire hydrants around the city this week.

When he was arrested, Steele was standing near a fire hydrant with a mini sledge hammer, a Philips screw driver, and a black backpack containing the rings, according to the police report. The report said Steele matched the description of an offender who stole rings from other hydrants.  The rings in his bag were together worth more than $500, according to court records.

Steele appeared at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse Wednesday afternoon and was held on $25,000 bond.

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