On The Lookout: HVAC Thefts Heat Back Up - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

On The Lookout: HVAC Thefts Heat Back Up

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WICOMICO CO., Md. - In September, WMDT aired a report on how our viewers can protect themselves from HVAC unit thefts.

After our story aired, investigators say the crime cooled off. But once Christmas rolled around, the crime apparently began heating up again. According to Sgt. David Owens of the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation, the crime resurfaced in the county after several businesses in WinterPlace Park reported their HVAC units had been tampered.

Owens say the crime has a price on it as well: one business lost a reported $28,000. Before, he says, thieves stole entire air conditioners.

Now, that's not the case and criminals are stripping the copper and leaving the units behind.

"They've got to measure what their budget allows for," said Owens. "Do they alarm it? Do they put cameras on it? Do they cage it? Do they you know essentially bolt it down so they can't be taken as easily?

"I'll tell you this though, the guys are figuring out ways to defeat that. They're not necessarily taking units now, but taking components now from within the cases."

The businesses that were hit Owens says did not have much light around their area. Alarm companies and air conditioning businesses told WMDT back in September that they are working together to try to stop this crime by installing fencing, moving units to rooftops or even putting in motion light detectors, video cameras and alarm sensors.

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