When it’s pushing 115 degrees outside, this is the last thing you want to see…
That would be one of the two air conditioning units that were destroyed by thieves at one of our listings in Wittmann a few days ago. Rising copper prices have lead many of the dregs of society to smash apart $3000 – $5000 A/C units to get at the copper coils, which they then sell for about $50 bucks in order to finance their next fix. That’s why we had to had it immediately repaired by cm heating. Thanks to them, we had it fixed before a site visit.
The problem has reached epidemic proportions in many parts of the country. In an effort to fight this in Arizona, the Governor signed HB2314 into law on May 8, 2007. This bill:
imposes new requirements on scrap metal dealers in an attempt to combat widespread metal thefts from construction sites, commercial buildings and other locations.
The restrictions are intended to make it harder for thieves, motivated by high prices for scrap, to anonymously sell stolen wire, air conditioner parts and other material.
State law now requires scrap metal dealers to keep a record of each transaction exceeding $25, logging a description of the metal, the dollar amount paid and identifying information about the seller and the seller’s vehicle. Sales of used drink containers are exempt. (source)
These new requirements didn’t seem to slow down the bozos responsible for this mess…
Copper theft isn’t just happening in Arizona. Here are 629 current news articles about copper theft.
Rick at Cool Blew A/C Repair suggests considering building a wrought-iron “cage” around AC units, with a metal door/gate attached with shoulder screws, that can be padlocked for access. In remote areas like Wittmann, particularly in a vacant home, this may be a worthwhile investment.
The price of scrap stainless-steel is also rising, leading to an increase in the theft of beer kegs. Beer companies are realizing, “an industry wide loss of up to $50 million a year”, said Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute. (note to self, apply for Mr. Becker’s job….) This cost is no doubt passed on to consumers, a economic fact I personally find disturbing.
[tags]stolen copper, beer kegs, copper theft[/tags]