Actor Tom Selleck has been accused of stealing truckloads of water from a public hydrant to help keep his 60-acre California ranch and avocado farm looking lush amid record drought.
To catch him, Calleguas Municipal Water District had spent $22,000 on a private investigator, the Sun Sentinel reported.
California is in the midst of a four-year drought. CBS News noted that Selleck’s tanker truck was spotted in March while it was filling up at a fire hydrant.
The district announced a tentative settlement with Selleck on Thursday.
Twenty minutes later, the same truck was seen delivering the water to Selleck’s property about 5.5 miles way, outside the district’s boundaries.
Details of the settlement are confidential pending approval by the water district’s board, who will consider the offer at a meeting on Wednesday (15.07.15).
The lawsuit said the same water truck siphoned water from the same hydrant and went to the same property four more times.
Burton said Selleck hired a third-party company, which broke Metropolitan Water District rules by taking water from a hydrant in one water district to another. Selleck, son of the late San Fernando Valley real estate magnate Robert D Selleck, has lived there for almost three decades.
“We set up a connection point for those folks, even though they’re outside our service area”, he said, adding that recycled water is not under cutback provisions.
Other celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Cher and Kelly Osbourne, have taken to social media to highlight the need to conserve water.
The drying of wells due to the drought has compelled residents to look for water elsewhere. Calleguas said the Sellecks ignored a cease-and-desist order.
Tom Selleck has yet to respond to the water theft allegations. Some water-governing bodies have started requiring regular reports of water usage from farmers and businesses.