J-Town shopping center victim of air conditioner theft - WDRB 41 Louisville News

J-Town shopping center victim of air conditioner theft

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The sound of 89 degrees hums alongside shoppers at Jeffersontown's Dress Barn.

Prices may be coming down at the discount clothing stores in the shopping center on S. Hurstbourne Pkwy., but the temperature isn't, thanks to the theft of three air conditioning units.

Police say the thieves were after copper and aluminum.

"That seems to be the motivation for the people stealing those. Not necessarily to re-sell air conditioning units, but to get the copper out and scrap the rest," said LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell.

Police say the thieves climbed two stories to get to the units, removing the scrapable parts and leaving the rest.

"It's a pretty good chore to get them all taken apart and off a roof," said Tim Dawson of John Waters Incorporated of Louisville. "Two guys would have to really be hustling to get these things taken apart, thrown over the side of a building, and then get down on the ground and load it into their truck and haul it off."

Dawson said unlike at the shopping center, some thieves will take the whole unit. At around 1,200 pounds, commercial units require not only battery powered tools but serious experience.

"They've got battery powered tools and screw guns, they'll go up there and they can take one apart in an hour's time -- two guys could," he said.

Dawson says commercial air conditioning theft has gotten more prevalent in recent years.

"I had a customer call one day and say their cooling wasn't working. We climbed on the roof and we said, 'Your unit is gone.'"

Dawson said a commercial air conditioning unit the size of a small car could have a copper and aluminum payout of $150 to $400.

The units at the shopping center were stripped of their copper and aluminum around Memorial Day. LMPD has yet to make any arrests.

Two of the three stores now have air conditioning restored.

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