AC thefts on the rise - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

AC thefts on the rise

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Metal thefts continue to be a constant problem all over south Georgia. The crooks most commonly go after copper wire in air conditioners.

Police in Thomasville have investigated ten cases just in the last month. It happens at farms, homes, businesses, and even schools.

Copper thefts continue to plague the south Georgia community. "If you see anyone around properties especially if they are vacant if you could please give the police department a call," said TPD Public Information Officer Lt. Eric Hampton.

In most instances, copper coils or wiring is taken from air conditioning units. "Not only are they trying to get the copper to sell, also the whole unit. They can sell the whole unit because it's made of sheet metal and scrap iron. Whatever they can sell," said Hampton.

Police say one reason copper thefts are on the rise is because the economy has made criminals more desperate.

Thieves may make $30 to $40 per copper coil, but property owners can end up spending thousands. "It just really makes the economy worse for that person who has had those air conditioning units stolen from them," said Hampton.

Service experts say whether the thieves take the whole air conditioner or just the copper wiring, in most cases, the entire unit needs to be replaced.

Police say these thieves are not targeting particular areas. "I think they use the opportunity to commit these crimes because of where they may be. If the opportunity is there than they're committing the crime. Therefore we will be beefing up our patrols throughout the city," said Hampton.

Police are asking homeowners and neighbors to be on the look out for any illegal activity. If you see anyone that looks or is acting suspicious, call the police immediately.

If you have any information any of the recent copper thefts in Thomasville, call the Police Department at 227-3302.


Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.

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