PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

 They're not easy to steal, yet fire hydrants are disappearing in Palm Springs, a potential for disaster should the hydrants be needed to fight a fire.
   
Last week two fire hydrants were stolen on Airport Center Drive, while another hydrant disappeared in the north end of the city.

The Desert Water Agency believes the thieves were no amateurs.

"They somehow shut the water off from the hydrant bumping it with a vehicle until they break away bolts, and they just throw it in the back of their truck and leave," said David Luker, general manager/chief engineer for the Desert Water Agency.

The water agency says thieves go for hydrants because brass parts can be worth anywhere from $200 to $300 in salvage value..

Both the Palm Springs Police and Fire departments are investigating the thefts.