Struck twice, thieves target A/C units at office complex

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - For the second time this summer, a north Columbus business complex is fuming and it's not because of the scorching heat.

Someone vandalized five air conditioning units, stealing the compressors and some copper.

Lloyd Hall is the property manager.

"It's a scary thing to think that something like this is going on, not just in a few locations, but all over town," Hall said.

They are not alone.

According to Tom Bryan, J.D. Kinder's furniture store in Columbus fell victim earlier this summer with four industrial size A/C units vandalized, causing nearly $20,000 worth of damage.

"Very frustrating, you know you're shut down, in oppressive heat like we're having right now, it could close you down, until you get some new units installed," Bryan said.

Thankfully, both businesses had insurance to cover such property damage and replace the units.

Both even extended their alarm services to include air conditioners.

"You can call your alarm company and have them put a different zone in to protect your A/C units, there on the ground or even on the roof, I would strongly advise it," Bryan said.

The problem is, the complex in north Columbus had alarms installed on the units after the first act of vandalism.

They didn't work.

The crooks have become so savvy, they can disable the alarms and still get what's a hurry.

"I'd venture to say they were probably in and out of here in 5-10 minutes, that quick. And with an alarm system, this place had an alarm system to it and the alarm didn't go off," Hall said.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.