TYLER — Air conditioning units are in high demand when temperatures get warmer. Homeowners need them — and KETK reports criminals want them. Tyler police officer Don Martin says 16 units have been stolen in the city since January. Those include both window units and large stationary systems. Martin says, “They start from March up through July, and they’re averaging around 2, 3 a month.” According to air conditioning experts, these thefts often occur because of the valuable copper and metals used inside the system. One expert says, “A lot of it follows the copper prices. As copper prices go up then the theft problems go up, because very seldom do people want an air conditioning unit. They’re just going to scrap it out.”
The precious metals used for the housing and casing on the unit can bring in more than $50 a piece, but repairing the units can cost homeowners around $3,000. In order to protect your investment, experts advise placing your unit in the back or on the side of the house, or using shrubs as a deterrent. They say installing gates, locks, or security systems will also help.