When most people think of a heist, they envision money, diamonds, or gold being stolen, but recently it was the theft of water that made headlines.


On June 30, a lawsuit was filed against “Magnum, P.I.” actor Tom Selleck by the Calleguas Municipal Water District in Ventura County, California. According to the water district, Selleck took truckloads of water from a public fire hydrant and brought it across district boundaries to his ranch for personal use.    


A drought stricken desert area

A hard-hitting drought has put residents of California on severe water restrictions. (huffingtonpost.com)

This crime caused controversy in the state because California is currently facing one of the worst droughts they have ever recorded. The Ventura County water district supplies water to several cities, and every gallon is needed to help the many citizens in need.


On Wednesday, the water district voted to accept a settlement offer made by Selleck of over $21,000. The offer was accepted by a 3-0 vote, and will be used to pay the private investigator hired to prove Selleck was taking the water across district boundaries.


The main issue wasn’t that Selleck was taking the water from the hydrant, but that he was bringing the water outside of the district. Thomas Slosson, acting president of the water district’s board, said that both local and state law prohibits anyone from leaving the district with public water.

“Residents and businesses within the district — the rightful users of district water — paid for the construction, maintenance and operation of the public works necessary to meet their water needs, not those of other landowners outside Calleguas’ legal boundaries.”  


This lawsuit may sound absurd to some, but businesses, farms, and citizens in California are facing hardships that can be difficult for Americans with easy water access to understand. The California drought may continue on for many months, which makes conserving water in the state more important than ever.


Do you think Selleck deserves to be punished by a court of law? Talk to me here or find me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon