Two recycling businesses in Coachella and another in Thermal were facing possible charges for allegedly purchasing stolen metals.
In January, investigators from the sheriff's Thermal Station and Riverside County District Attorney's Office conducted a spot check at the three businesses to make certain they were not in possession of stolen metals, authorities said.
The investigators found that the businesses purchased prohibited metals in violation of state laws, said Riverside County Sheriff's Sgt. Alan Northrup.
Investigators returned to the businesses Wednesday for a follow-up investigation and recovered prohibited metals, including fire hydrant parts and water meters, he said.
The case will be referred to the District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution, Northrup said.
The businesses were identified as SA Recycling and G&G Private Recycle, both of 48100 Harrison St. in Coachella, and Apple Market II at 65959 Harrison St. in Thermal, he said.
All three were first visited in June by authorities who provided literature and information about metal theft laws, Northrup said.