Tom Selleck stole “thousands of gallons” of water from a fire hydrant in Thousand Oaks, the Calleguas Municipal Water District contends in a complaint filed against him, according to the Daily Mail.
The Magnum, P.I. star owns a 60-acre ranch and avocado farm in Hidden Valley with his wife, Jillie Mack, and on multiple occasions between 2013-2015, a white truck pulled up to a fire hydrant in Thousand Oaks—a community neighboring Selleck’s ranch—filled up, and drove the precious H2O back to the old Selleck spread, according to the complaint.
California was then, as it is now, suffering a drought.
On November 26, 2013, Selleck was slapped with cease-and-desist notices delivered to all of the Sellecks’ residences, including his L.A. landing spot in Century City. However, Selleck ignored this, and allegedly kept smuggling the wet stuff from nearby Thousand Oaks.
The water district hired a private investigator to document Selleck’s aqua-missions and possibly catch him in the act. They spent $22,000 on the private eye, money they now want back. The water district is also asking for legal fees and an injunction. Selleck and his wife aren’t allowed to use water from the hydrant in Thousand Oaks because “their property is located in a different water district,” reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“Our 630,000 customers are ripping out their lawns, drastically cutting back on the water they use,” Eric Bergh, resources manager for the Calleguas Municipal Water District, told the Sun Sentinel. “The water that we have secured for them, that they have paid for, should remain in district boundaries.”
What Selleck has done is not a crime, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Still, it’s hard to see how Selleck didn’t know that the water didn’t belong to him. According to a 2009 agreement described by the Sun Sentinel, Selleck and five others had briefly had permission to take water from a hydrant in Lake Sherwood. The deal was short-lived, however, because the director of water and sanitation for the Ventura County Public Works Agency at the time discovered it wasn’t allowed to transfer potable water outside the district.
The news comes two weeks after the Metropolitan Water Department of Southern California asked Californians to make the strictest reductions ever in their water usage due to a worsening drought.