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Air Conditioner Thefts Problem

Posted Nov. 29, 2013, at 5:07 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 30, 2013, at 8:37 a.m.

Numbers are Rising, Prompting the Importance of Better Security

Theft and burglary are among the famous crimes occurring worldwide. However, the concept of air conditioner theft may be the most absurd thing a person may hear which is exactly what AirconWA experts told me to pay attention to yesterday while fixing my outdoor unit.

No one may think that this heavy equipment can attract thieves’ eyes. The truth is that anything of value can be stolen and since air conditioning units are expensive, it is logical to think that someone will take advantage of its value.

To give you idea on how big issue this becomming check these sources:

Air Conditioners and their Value

Air conditioners are valuable equipment to invest at home. Robbers also find it valuable because they can earn money from the stolen unit. This cooling system contains numerous components that can be useful. According to reports, thieves strap each part inside the unit— from large parts to copper wires— and sell them at junk shops or metal shops. Coppers, tins and metal materials are useful for a lot of shops and sellers can get a lot of money because of their weight.

Furthermore, the metal shop can also resell them or use the components for their own projects. Obtaining components for producing refurbished appliances becomes more affordable on their end. It implies that air conditioner theft can be a win-win situation for the thieves and shops buying their components.

Air Conditioner Theft – A National Issue

This crime may not be a sensational issue, but it is becoming a national issue as more cases of HVAC unit theft are recorded and reported through local publications. An increasing number of theft cases is noticeable across the country and even prompted local governments and HVAC unit manufacturers to promote ways in protecting these investments.

According to another report, Cleveland Police stated that there is a noticeable increase in air conditioner theft during winter time. Various reasons boost the number of theft cases during winter seasons. Some people are out of their homes in time for the holidays, making it easy for thieves to sneak in and steal their units installed outdoors.

Another reason is that the cold temperature brought by winter season makes air conditioning units useless until summer. An unused unit is easier to steal because homeowners will not notice that there is no cold air circulating inside the house.

Modern day property and air conditioning designs also increased the number of air conditioner theft incidents. Air conditioning units are installed outside the house, making them accessible for thieves. They use bolt and screwdrivers to uninstall the unit from its place and haul it to their vehicles. Robbers will then speed away from the house. Users will find out that their units are missing the next day and without any trace.

Protecting your Units from Theft

You are still lucky if you still have your air conditioning unit. It means that you still have the opportunity to protect it from theft. Since winter season is here, you should start investing in securing your units from these criminals. Here are some tips that will protect these units.

  • Keep the power disconnect box locked. Accessing this part of the unit makes it easier for thieves to get your unit. Secure the component using a padlock. Seeing that they cannot turn off the power connection can drive thieves away.
  • Use tamper resistant screws. Conventional screws are easy to remove by robbers. Change the screws to tamper resistant screws instead of using the conventional hex-head ones. Your unit may only need six up to eight screws, so replacement will not cause a great deal of expenses for you.
  • Keep the unit in cages or fences. Storing your ACs inside cages or fenced areas will keep thieves from hauling it away from your home. Place locks or change for added protection.
  • Lock your gates at all times. Make sure to keep the first access for thieves locked.
  • Block potential roof access. Some properties have ladders that make roof accessible. Remove them or block access points that may allow users to go up your roof.
  • Install alarms. A lot of service providers offer alarms for air conditioning units. They are installed in strategic places or components and will sound once the unit was tampered.

Overall, air conditioner theft cases are rising in number today. Keep your investment protected this winter season by following these tips that keep thieves away from your prized cooling units.

Here are some tips from Mesa, Arizona state police on this issue:

http://www.mesaaz.gov/police/literature/pdf/PreventTheftofAC.pdf

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