NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers are growing concerned about caps on fire hydrants mysteriously disappearing.

State Sen. Tony Avella told CBS2’s Ali Bauman that fire hydrants in Queens are missing their caps and putting residents in danger.

“It’s almost like a ‘Hardy Boy’ mystery, the case of the missing fire hydrant caps,” Avella told CBS2.

Avella has been on the case since November, sending letters to the Department of Environmental Protection and the FDNY. He said the letters have gone unanswered and each day without a solution puts the Queens community in danger.

“The firefighters have a two or three minute delay hooking up the hose, somebody could die,” Avella said.

However, the DEP said it responds to any reports to 311 of missing fire hydrant caps and the FDNY inspects every fire hydrant in the city and replaces any missing cap.

Avella said he’s seen this all over the neighborhood. CBS2 counted at least five hydrants missing caps.

Residents are worried about relying on these hydrants during a fire emergency.

“I don’t want to die in a fire,” Peggy Meehan said.

David Ortiz said, “It’s a concern if it’s something that’s gonna delay from turning off the fire or something like that.”

Some believe thieves are selling the caps for scrap metal.

“The city has to function better, we all know, but if people are stealing it, it’s a shame,” Rivka Elyahu said.

Avella suggested attaching caps with a metal chain.

The DEP said the best way to report a hydrant problem is calling 311.

The FDNY and DEP said they inspect fire hydrants across the five boroughs.