Air Conditioner Thefts On the Rise

Filed under: City |

Duncanville Police Cite Air Conditioner Theft As A Growing Problem

The Duncanville Police Department has noticed an alarming trend—the increase of air conditioner thefts. Over the weekend Duncanville Police received reports of 23 commercial air conditioner units stolen.

The high demand for copper coupled with the troubled economy and an increase in home foreclosures has created an atmosphere conducive to such crimes. Air conditioner units contain copper and aluminum, which make them an attractive target for thieves.

“Complete units are being stolen and being reinstalled at other locations as ‘used air conditioning units’. Or, thieves are removing interior parts and leaving behind the metal casing,” explained Officer Doug Sisk, Crime Prevention Specialist/Community Relations Officer.

Thieves can strike occupied or vacant homes and structures, day or night.

“Thieves usually target residential air conditioning units when homeowners are away during the day or at night when people are sleep. Vacant homes and businesses are also targets as thefts might not be discovered for awhile. And, in most cases, thieves can get away in a matter of minutes,” added Officer Sisk.

However, according to Officer Sisk, there are numerous things that homeowners can do to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of theft and deter thieves from targeting their homes.

Lighting – Install floodlights or motion-sensing lights around your home and near the air conditioning unit.

Padlock & Chain – Secure the air conditioning unit to the foundation of you house with a padlock and chain.

Metal Cage – There are companies now that sell cages that you can use to enclose your air conditioning unit.  Air conditioner cages can run a couple hundred dollars, but compared to the cost of replacing your air conditioner this can be a worthwhile expense.

Fence – You can install a padlocked fence around the unit.  Just make sure you have allowed enough room for a service technician to get to the unit for regular maintenance or repair.  You also do not want to obstruct the air flow around the unit.

Alarm – With the rise of thefts new air conditioner unit alarms have been introduced into the market.  These alarms will alert a homeowner if a unit is being tampered with.  These will cost you a bit more than a metal cage but again compared to the cost of totally replacing an a/c unit, this is still an economical solution.

Be Safe – A very important safety measure is to just know your neighborhood.  If you think someone doesn’t belong, call the police immediately. Do not hesitate or talk yourself out of calling.

Realtors and rental property owners need to take steps to protect your investment and have neighbors help keep and eye on your homes when no one is living in them.

Deterring crime is a community effort. Officer Sisk advises homeowners to be proactive about contacting police and reporting suspicious activity.

“Always be aware of your surroundings and call the police if you see something that does not look right or is suspicious in your neighborhood.  That’s right it is your neighborhood; you live there and know what is normal for your neighborhood so if it looks out of place, call the police and allow us to check it out,” said Officer Sisk. “Also if you see anything suspicious around shopping centers and businesses any time, but most of all during night time hours, please call it in immediately.”

North Texas Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the individuals responsible for these felony thefts.  If you have information call 1-877-373-8477.

For information or questions, contact Officer Doug Sisk, Duncanville Police Crime Prevention at (972) 780 – 5027 or dsisk@ci.duncanville.tx.us.