Last week, someone pilfered 10 air conditioners from Chisholm Baptist Church in Rockwall, Tx., leaving only the pipes jutting out of the brick walls and congregants sweltering through a Sunday service, says the Dallas Morning News. Authorities say air-conditioner thefts are on the rise: Whether they're after the copper inside, or mammoth central air units, stealthy but brazen crooks are leaving people boiling in more ways than one.
“I feel violated,” said Paula Moore, still angry at the sneak who took her entire outdoor unit last week. She checked into a hotel for four days before buying a new unit for $2,200. A cage covers it. That's about the only defense against thieves who take entire units. It doesn't always work. Thieves pry through steel security bars to get at the goods. They scale roofs, crawl into attics. In Dallas, all thefts involving metal are assigned to the three-detective metal theft squad. The unit handles about 15 to 22 offenses a day, most involving air-conditioning units. “When they're taking the whole thing, they're using it for the air conditioner, not for the copper,” said Dallas Police Lt. Tony Crawford. “We're thinking they're going and installing them somewhere else.”