Skip to comments.Thieves In Chatham Targeting Air Conditioners [Chicagoland]
Posted on 07/06/2011 12:31:13 PM PDT by Red Badger
Residents of the Chatham neighborhood have been put on notice to keep an eye on their air conditioners.
Thieves have been sneaking into back yards and crawling onto rooftops to steal entire central air conditioning units.
As CBS 2s Kristyn Hartman learned, a rash of central air theft on the South Side prompted one neighborhood to put out a warning.
One Chatham resident, who asked to be identified only as Randi is using not one lock, but three, to protect her new air conditioner after thieves made off with her old one.
Asked if she ever thought someone would walk away with a central air unit, Randi said, not in my wildest dreams.
She said whoever stole the air conditioner was obviously very professional, because they didnt leave any bolts or screws behind and she didnt hear a thing.
Ive just been going door-to-door, letting my neighbors know, look, our air conditioner got stolen. At first, theyre like, You all have central air, what do you mean your air conditioner got stolen? My air conditioner got stolen. So they came by and theyre like, How in the world did they do that? Everyone is in awe.
She still isnt certain exactly how they stole the whole thing.
Randi woke up one late June morning to a hot house. Her thermostat wasnt registering. Out back, all she and her family found was an empty slab.
Were just jumping up and down, like, no, no, she said.
Her warnings definitely helped.
When a neighbor checked on his unit, he found it prepped for theft.
Two of his bolts were unscrewed and his Freon lines were cut, Randi said.
Turns out central air conditioning units are a hot commodity with thieves.
Theres word of a central air theft spree in the Chatham neighborhood on everyblock.com, a neighborhood news blog.
Chicago police said its an ongoing problem thats affected the whole city for awhile now.
But Bernard Azrikam of The Price is Right Heating and Cooling said hes seen a spike in such thefts of late.
Its happening a lot more than Ive ever seen before in three to six months, he said.
Zzrikam believes its a sign of tough money times.
Theives who take the whole unit, which can weigh about 125 pounds, are looking to sell the copper and aluminum coil inside.
So Randi and some of her neighbors have cage protection now for their A/C units.
I just cant afford for someone to come and take it again, Randi said.
Insurance covered some of the cost to replace the air conditioner, but the total cost of the cage and the new air conditioner was about $1,500 for Randi
And to think, our expert said the thieves only get about $25 for their haul.
Professionals advise to lock up air conditioners and the disconnect box to make the unit harder to steal.
Randi, a Chatham neighorhood resident, installed a cage with three locks around her new central air conditioner after thieves stole her old unit from her back yard in June 2011. (Credit: CBS)
This has been happening here in FL Panhandle, also.............
Not real difficult, but dangerous for dogs and children.................
There is that.
So now the thieves will steal the metal cage AND the A/C...
I suspect it is the Green Police. Do you have any idea what kind of carbon footprint all those air conditioners make? :)
I just saw a vid by Andrew Klavan about why blacks vote for Democrats,
and he ended it with a funny theory -
blacks have been migrating out of the democrat hell-hole cities as they collapse,
so his theory is that, in order to exact revenge on America for slavery and Jim Crow laws, blacks have been electing democrats in order to destroy the municipalities, then they sneak off to undestroyed Republican enclaves and start the process all over again.
He begged them to stop.
I wouldn't assume that the units are being sold as scrap metal. In fact, I used to see central A/C condensor units, so new that the hacksawed copper lines hadn't even yet begun to tarnish, in New Orleans area pawn shops. There was a shop run by some Vietnamese guys that was particularly notorious, but the cops didn't lift a finger.
I recall something in the news there about the same guys who did A/C installation work during the day being involved with the thefts at night.
>>>I wonder how hard it would be to wire up 220, but still make it look like an accident when they fry themselves?<<<
And if caught you could use the Denny Crane “American Homeowner” defense to taint the jury pool. :)
Sounds exciting, though!
In my building, the central air conditoner weighs four tons and is 23 feet long. So far, no one has attempted to steal it.
It handles 480 apartments.
Happening here in MN ,too.
We don’t shoot enough people in this country.
It’s been happening in the Tampa Bay area for a couple years...they sell the copper. It’s a broad daylight crime. The thieves pull up in a work truck, make themselves look like repairmen, check to see if anyone answers the door, and if not meander into the backyard and cart off the unit (and these guys are bold...we live on a golf course, and they cart it out right in plain sight of the golfers...but they make it look like it’s a legitimate AC firm.)
Our unit is on a concrete slab and is bolted down, but if someone was determined, they’d get away with it. By the time the police were called (if there was a suspicious neighbor watching to call them) they’d be long gone.
It is from the episode “Shock and Oww”. A man who was tired of his house being broken into by thieves and drug addicts, set up an electrified booby trap on his window. When a thug tried to break in, he was fried and badly injured.
Denny defended the homeowner. After hiring a marketing consultant, they came up with the idea of branding him as the “American Homeowner”, fed up with crime and determined to defend his property. They kept repeating “American Homeowner” over and over in media interviews.
When it came time for jury selection, every prospective juror (including at least one who lived in a rented apartment) said that they too were “American Homeowners” and sympathized with the defendant. This forced the DA to cut a deal for no jail time.
Thanks for the synopsis.
Lots of vacant homes are also having the AC units stolen. One home that had just recently sold, had the entire outside unit taken the weekend before the new owners were moving into the house. Not funny in the 100+ heat.
Both the original crimes and your solution are Sarah Palin’s fault.
We had a unit stolen from a vacant rental property. Thus we scheduled to have the new one and a cage installed the day before the new renters arrived. The unit was installed, but the “cage guy” could not get there until morning. Of course, the unit was gone. That same house has had the electrical wires stolen from the attic and walls several times.