Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 23, 2013

A favorite for burglars

Several air conditioners stolen, damaged for copper

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Air Conditioners continue to be a favorite commodity for burglars in Athens.  Athens Police Department reports show several incidents in recent days where outside air conditioners were either stolen or damaged. Air conditioning units are a source of quick cash for thieves who sell the copper for scrap.

On Tuesday, APD received a call reporting two 5-ton AC units stolen from offices on South Murchison Street. The owner told police arriving at the scene that the units were valued at more than $1,500. Assistant Chief of Police Rodney Williams, III said the case has been turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division, and there are no suspects or leads to report at this time.

The latest reports followed similar incidents over the long Martin Luther King holiday weekend. On Saturday, Donut Supreme at 709 W. Corsicana St. reported a missing 5-ton AC condenser valued at more than $1,500.

APD received a complaint Friday that someone had taken copper tubing from the AC unit at Mercado Del Norte at 531 W. Tyler St. Another report Friday concerned an air conditioner removed from a residence at 8421 E. U.S. Highway 175. The owner said the house was being remodeled, and the AC was worth $1,500 to $1,800.  All of the thefts remain under investigation.

Incidents of copper wire and copper materials theft have continued to be common, despite an increase in the penalty for stealing the material.

According to the Texas Penal Code, theft of copper wire is a state-jail felony, if the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000.