Thefts Of AC Units Are On The Rise

Thefts Of AC Units Are On The Rise

For the second time in eight months the non-profit organization Camp Fire North Texas has had to spend thousands of dollars, not on programs for the kids, but on replacing something that was stolen.

On Thursday Wichita Falls police officers were back at the organization's building searching for clues that might have been left behind by the criminal who stole an AC unit condenser.

But Betty Ricks, Camp Fire's Vice President said the ones who are ultimately being robbed are the kids in Texoma.

"They cut it in the same place and went in there just like they had done before and it's very expensive for us to replace. We rather spend that money on our programs and our children," said Ricks.

Ricks said a light was also broken and now that funding is tight for the non-profit, having to spend nearly $2,000 to replace those things is a big set back. What's worse, is that Camp Fire is just one of a laundry list of victims.

Ferguson-Veresh Air Conditioning's Vice President Shane FitzHenry said his repair guys have been busy replacing stolen condensers.

"Definitely over the last year or so we've seen a lot more than we've seen in years past. I think the reason for that is copper value for scraps has gone up," said FitzHenry.

The Wichita Falls Police Department agrees and said in the last four months about 35 cases have been reported. A copper coil is found on the outside of the AC unit and right now copper is about $2.35 a pound.

Police said the robberies are mostly happening in businesses at night, specifically on Seymour, Kemp Blvd, Brook and 9th St.

FitzHenry said there are several things you can do to keep your AC units safe. You can get a cage built around it with a lock. AC companies could move the unit to the roof and if you have a security system in your home or business, you could even add a device to the unit that will tie it to that system. If it gets stolen the security company will alert police.

Police said if you have any information on these or any other robberies in town, you should call the Crime Stoppers Hotline: 940-322-9888

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel Six