In the wake of the Detroit bankruptcy, blight sieged parts of the city as its populous exited. The fallouts were typical. There was a run of vandalism, thefts, arson and graffiti. Hard times pushed throngs of looters into scores of homes to scavenge for anything that wasn’t bolted down — and often, even for the things that were.
Jeff Mooney recalls the latter.
“They were going in and they were actually stealing the water meters … they’d just tear it out, but the water would keep running,” Mooney said.
As a VP at SeeClickFix, Mooney first heard of the looting through a partnership with Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). The water meters, along with other home furnishings like plumbing and electrical fixtures, it seemed, were hot commodities.