Police dealing with an uptick in air conditioner and copper thie - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Police dealing with an uptick in air conditioner and copper thefts

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Numerous air conditioning units have been stolen from several businesses around the Jonesboro area, according to Jonesboro police reports.

Most air conditioning units are being stolen to strip out the copper and sell for a profit.  In just a week's time, Jonesboro Police have reported three separate incidents.

The businesses hit were very close to one another and all were off E. Johnson Ave. These cases are still under investigation so it is unknown if the incidents are related.

One of the businesses hit was Lost Creek Apartment complex.

"Somebody had went into apartment A, got up into the attic, and then just kinda went down through apartment A, B, and C and started taking out wire," said Manager Debra Hickson.

Hickson also lives at Lost Creek and said this is the first time they've had a problem with theft.

"I mean they even stripped the wire in the apartments and left, you know, the stuff in the apartments where the cases from the copper," she said.

She said lately she has noticed a lot of homes and businesses are being targeted for copper.

"People's air units coming up missing, empty houses have been broken into and vandalized and basically stripped of everything and it's really getting bad, especially on this side of town," Hickson said. 

Sgt. Lyle Waterworth with the Jonesboro Police Department said they have seen a number a copper thefts and precious metal thefts in the area.

"When I say precious metal it could be copper or heavy metals anything people can sell at a recycling area," Waterworth said.

He said businesses should take certain precautions to keep their units safe.

"Discreet locations make them perfect targets for people who want to take them because nobody notices them," he said. 

"Put lighting around the back of their business, motion sensitive lighting so when someone were to come up it would automatically activate the light."

Waterworth says this will help when officers are out patrolling because if they see a light on they are not use to seeing they will drive around back and look at the area.

Hickson says Lost Creek has the only home she'd known but now she is considering moving.

"It really bothers me because I know times are changing and everything and it's just I've lived here just about all my life and I really don't want to move just yet," she said. 

"But you know all this keeps going on, I'm not gonna have a choice because I'm not gonna have a business that's worth running and worth keeping."

Hickson encourages people to speak out if they see something because it is really hurting local businesses.

"Basically if you know what's going on, you need to say something because, you know, you might sit there and think, ‘Well they won't never do that to you,' but uh, yeah they will," she said.

Waterworth said every recycling company in the state is required to report every sale of metals to the police department.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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