More than 200 students were turned away from the Sugar Cove Church of Christ School in Fort Bend County Tuesday morning because the building had no water. That’s because overnight thieves stole a key component of the water system called a back flow preventer.

“We had to cancel school. Yeah, so we stood outside and had to send our parents away, and sent out email and phone calls to parents so they knew school was canceled,” said school administrator Daniel McGraner.

The thieves took the back flow preventer from a car lot next door as well.

At a seniors apartment complex just down the street, the thieves left a back flow regulator attached to the main water system, but they took another one, a smaller one that regulated the sprinkler system in the apartments. Thatone was made out of brass.

The brass is likely what the thieves were after. The 40 to 50-lb. part is made of solid brass. It costs anywhere from $800 to $1,000 to buy, but thieves cut them up and sell them for scrap at about $1.50 a pound.

There are no suspects in the case yet, but a surveillance camera at a nearby Sam’s Club recorded video of a two-toned pickup truck that was cruising the area at the same time the thefts happened.

Detectives would like to talk to whoever was behind the wheel.