A new type of theft is on the rise this summer: rather than stealing expensive electronics or credit card information, a growing number of thieves have been stealing air conditioning units all over the country.
The Christ Church Episcopal in Las Vegas, which provides substantial services for the local homeless population, was vandalized at the end of June and had to temporarily stop preparing hot meals for the homeless after five air conditioning units were stolen. More shocking than the estimated $22,000 bill for new air conditioners is the fact that this particular robbery is the third time in one year that the church has been hit. In addition to replacing the units, the church is devoting substantial energy into setting up a security system, including cages around the units, to prevent future theft.
Meanwhile, a doctor’s office in Philadelphia is searching for a different set of thieves who nabbed the air conditioning unit. The Andorra Pediatrics Center is suffering the loss of a unit valued at approximately $7,000.
And down in West Harris County, TX, multiple homes encountered sudden discomfort as residents realized that their private air conditioning units had been stripped and stolen. Local news stations are reporting that thieves (possibly the same air conditioning thieves) are also stealing large appliances like stoves and refrigerators. With indoor temperatures reaching 90 degrees, some families are seeking alternate housing until new units can be installed.
These three cases offer a small insight into the increasing HVAC unit robberies that have been appearing all over the country, and many people are wondering why thieves are targeting these units, as well as how a homeowner might protect his or her unit. It appears that many thieves strip or steal units with the intention of selling valuable metal parts.
Even though these thefts can be difficult to prevent, many HVAC companies offer flexible financing plans and immediate installation to ensure that anyone left without a working air conditioning unit does not have to suffer the blistering summer heat for long.