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Thieves target AC units

Pike County sheriff’s deputies have made 10 theft arrests in the past two weeks. Many of them were for stolen or damaged air conditioning units. According to Maj. David Neal it appears the suspects were taking copper from the units to sell as scrap metal. ’Our investigation has shown they’re being stripped of any copper,’ he said. ‘There has been an increase in copper and AC thefts all over Georgia. In some cases they take the entire unit and in other cases they take different copper components off at the scene. Most of it ends up at scrap yards.’ Willie Jackson, 41, and Donna Harralson, 49, both of Meriwether County, were arrested at a vacant house where they were found to be in possession of tools commonly used to steal air conditioning units. Joshua Harland, Daniel Bohensky and Joseph Gosman were charged with second degree criminal damage to property and possession of tools used for commission of a crime after they were seen at a vacant residence and deputies found a dismantled AC unit at the scene. The cost of the stolen or damaged unit can be a thousand times more than the value of the stolen materials. ’It’s quite frequent. For an average sized unit thieves can get $20 to $30 worth of copper for a several thousand dollar unit,’ said David Swenson of Comfort Experts. ‘Most of the people doing this for copper are probably drug addicts trying to get their fix.’

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