Thieves targeting air conditioning units in Baton Rouge area

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - [if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

[if gte mso 9]>

John Crawford looks over his work property and describes the scene waiting for him Monday morning.

“They even took the compressors. I don't know why they would even take the compressors out of the unit,” said Crawford. 

Crawford's two exterior air conditioning units were stripped clean of their parts. He filed an insurance claim and replaced them immediately at price tag of more than $4,000 but it still cost him a $1,000 deductible and he wasn't alone.

“They hit our neighbors too and just to get to talking with the ac installers, that they've quite a few other air conditioning units along the street here,” added Crawford.

Corporal Don Coppola of the Baton Rouge Police Department confirms over the last few days there have been multiple reported air conditioning thefts in the Sherwood Forest and Airline area. 

“Be aware and cautious of it. Talk to your neighbors, your business neighbors and look out for each other's property,” said Coppola.

According to Baton Rouge Police, these thefts come on the heels of a string of burglaries on Mammoth Avenue in the North Baton Rouge area over the last month.  Pete Peterson told WAFB his heating and air business was hit several times and a total of nine units were destroyed and burglarized. Police suggest putting units under lock and key, using protective cages or even investing in surveillance equipment but for a small business owner like Crawford, every dollar adds up.

“It’s expenses that we really can't endure in our office these days, but video surveillance is very expensive,” said Crawford. “It’s obviously a problem around the Baton Rouge area.”

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.