You can feel very frustrated if your air conditioner fails to serve its primary purpose, which is cooling your home or business. In such cases, you will probably call your repairman who can respond after a few hours.
Interesting idea by oteblockwatches.org to prevent theft.
But picture this; the technician comes and finds out that your cooling problems have nothing to do with any malfunction but the air conditioning unit itself is missing. Not believing what the technician says, you decide to take a peek outside and find the area where you usually keep your unit empty; the unit has been stolen ??
This occurrence is on the rise according to multiple news sources and police reports:
Air conditioner theft has risen in the past few years in a way that has even baffled law enforcement officers. In fact, in some areas, the situation is so bad that it’s considered an epidemic. The thieves are targeting any building be it homes, apartments, business premises or even places of worship.
AC theft in homes is common during the day when no one is around and at night while people are asleep. But why is air conditioner theft on the rise? Well, find out in the following paragraphs.
Why air conditioner theft is on the rise
The rising cases of AC theft can be attributed to the increasing demand for copper coupled with the current economic crisis, such as the increasing cost of food, energy, housing and consumer goods.
Air conditioning units contain copper and so thieves can either steal the unit entirely or unscrew the top, remove the valuable parts and leave behind the casing. Air conditioners can be divided into two categories; packaged units and split systems. The split systems contain about 20 lbs. of copper while packaged systems contain about 60 lbs. of copper. With this, they can make around $40-$250.
Another factor that has encouraged this vice is lack of a proper framework for prosecution. This can be attributed to the inability to track the parts and link them with a specific case. The parts end up in scrap yards where they are used to make other products.
The thieves are basically experts and so the theft can be done in a matter of minutes. Some of the stolen AC parts might prove difficult to replace, and even if replaced, the system may not work efficiently. This means that you may need to install a new AC unit, which is obviously very costly.
The thieves can ruin a unit worth $3,000 for a copper coil that will just fetch $100. Therefore, it is important for every homeowner to protect their air conditioning units so that it does not end up in the hands of these thieves.
How to prevent AC theft
Install an AC cage: Use bars constructed of materials that can resist cutting or prying. On the same note, choose a rust-resistant AC cage and check them once in a while to make sure they remain weatherproof.
Install an alarm: AC alarms can help combat the rising theft of air conditioners due to the increasing cost of copper scraps. Choose the best alarm from local retail stores or from online retailers that fits your safety needs and price range. Choose an alarm with the fewest reports of causing false alarms. On the same note, you can install surveillance cameras around the home. This will scare off thieves as they know that all their activities will be recorded
Form a neighborhood watch: AC thieves will less likely steal in a neighborhood where members are vigilant against crime. Organize regular meetings and assign members to survey the neighborhood during the day and at night on a rotational basis. Get in touch with the local police department and inform them about the neighborhood watch.
You can equip the surveillance team with whistles and cell phones to alert members and police officers of any suspicious activities. This will also enable you to know your neighbors. Knowing neighbors deter people from stealing from each other and everyone will easily notice strangers lurking around.
Use signs: Putting up signs, such as “Beware of Dog,” “We Call Police,” “Neighborhood Watch“ and “Premises Protected by Alarm System,” in visible areas can deter crime.
Even if your home does not have a dog or an alarm system, giving an impression that you do would make thieves feel less comfortable to choose your home.office for burglary.