Air Conditioner theft hits local businesses hard

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The heat is on throughout Region 8.  With temperatures like we've seen lately, the last thing you want to do without is air conditioning, but that's exactly what creative concepts has been dealing with.  Just over a week ago, someone stole their air conditioner unit, but they're not alone.  The crooks have hit other businesses in this shopping center more than once!

"It was easy.  You know with the way the building sits and the ditch behind the building which was very grown up.  If you're behind this building at night no one can see you," says Mark Francis owner of Creative Concepts.  He's a printer by profession, but now he's a victim.  "Someone came behind the building and stole 4 units.  They put new units in that Thursday and Friday night they came back and took four units again," Eight air conditioner units stolen in two nights.  It's a problem Francis says has affected business.  "It did hurt our business we had to turn some work down.  One day one of my screen printers got sick and had to go home because of the heat."

"We've seen several thefts with metals particularly copper," says Sergeant Steve McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department.  He says criminals steal the unit to strip copper and aluminum to sell for scrap metal.  "These thieves are doing thousands of dollars worth damage for a few dollars in scrap money."

"Just for my two units alone that cost him 10 thousand dollars," says Francis.  So to ensure this doesn't happen again, a unit that was once on the ground is now on the roof.  "I spoke with Mayor Harold Perrin and he sent out crew.  They started cleaning the ditch out, cutting the trees down that way people can see behind this building at night," says Francis.  The landlord also contact City Water and Light and had flood lights installed behind the building.  Meanwhile, police are still investigating.

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