SAN ANTONIO – The former owner of a troubled east Bexar County mobile home park has been arrested after sheriff’s investigators said he installed piping to illegally divert more than $9,000 worth of water at the property.
John Ripley, 69, was arrested Tuesday on the Class A misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief - impairment of public service, according to Bexar County booking records.
A warrant released to the KSAT 12 Defenders on Wednesday accuses Ripley of removing the water meter from one of the lots at Jasper Mobile Home Park and installing piping in two lots there last June, in order to tap into the water supply of the San Antonio Water System without paying for it.
Ripley’s actions caused losses to SAWS of around $9,100, the warrant states.
He is the third person associated with the mobile home park in the 6700 block of Walzem Road to be arrested this week.
Two other people were arrested Tuesday in connection to arsons and interfering with fire investigations at the property, which has long been a county eyesore and the site of numerous code violations.
Ripley did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday at a phone number publicly listed for him.
Booking records show he was released on a $500 bond Tuesday afternoon.
Ripley, who no longer owns or manages the property, said via telephone last week that it was clear problems at the mobile home park continue.
A man currently associated with managing the property said in a separate phone call that day that the park is only about 20% occupied by legal tenants.
The comments came hours after an apparent arson fire destroyed a unit on the back side of the property.
Bexar County Fire Marshal’s officials this week said they found 55 vacant and unsecured structures that were described as fire hazards.
The park’s current owner, Ripley’s brother, could not been reached for comment.