Vacant buildings become latest target in A/C thefts -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Vacant buildings become latest target in A/C thefts

WALB, GA (WALB) - Air conditioner thefts continue and thieves couldn't be committing these crimes at a worse time when temperatures flirt with triple digits.

Albany police are investigating a rash of A/C theft reports- at least a dozen this weekend at mostly vacant buildings, but businesses and home owners have also been hit.

Police say these guys know what they're doing. They turn off power to the home so they can cut the wires to the unit and take the whole air conditioner with them and cash in the copper wire at the nearest metal yard. 

It discourages Remax of Albany Realtor Pat Tricquet whose had three units stolen at listed vacant properties. She's had more reported thefts in the last 30 days than she's had in her 30 years of real-estate.

"It's extremely frustrating for me and other companies," said Tricquet. "Unfortunately in our state of economy, it's not just exclusive to Albany, Georgia. It's nationwide, and it's just really sad people find the need to prey on other people's property for their own personal gain.

When these units are stolen, homeowners who have to foot the bill worth thousands of dollars or make allowances when offers comes in.

After Tricquet found both units stripped from a vacant home on Station Crossing drive, she checked another property across town on Holland drive and found another one missing too.

"It's sad people find a need to prey on other people's property for their own personal gain."

It also frustrates neighbors like Lanisa Cross who lives near buildings where A/C thefts were just reported.

"It's a very big concern," said Cross.

This weekend, victims filed at least half a dozen criminal damage reports after thieves vandalized air conditioner units. Along with Tricquet's properties, other include: Carpet World on West Oglethorpe, a vacant building on North Cleveland, and a residence on Moultrie road.

With very little evidence or finger prints, police say it's tough to catch leads on these thefts. Tire tracks are one of few clues left behind at Holland drive. Police encourage anyone with information on these A/C thefts to contact Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS.

Police also encourage owners to check up on their property to make sure their units are there. Neighbors should also look out for each other and report any suspicious activity.

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