ACs Busted, Stolen for Copper Inside: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The thieves don't want the ACs. They want the copper tubing inside, police say.

    Thieves apparently in pursuit of some cold hard cash are leaving many in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood dealing with the heat.

    Air conditioners have been torn apart and ripped out of windows, police say.

    "We went to turn on the air and we weren't getting any reaction," said Tamara Williams, who lives in the area around East 92nd Place and South Luella Avenue, where several of the thefts have occurred.

    The units, some costing thousands of dollars, are pulled apart so the copper tubing can be snipped out and sold for cash.

    "They come between two and three in the morning, and by 6 o'clock they're at the junk yard selling the copper," said Diane Day, who has noticed the remnants of several crimes during her walks through the neighborhood.

    Knowledge of the heists has prompted some, like Richard Griffin and his family, to chain down their ACs in a proactive attempt to dissuade copper bandits. One theft victim, Warren Matthews, spent $500 to install a steel cage around his replacement air conditioning unit and had it bolted to the ground.