NPR launches a project examining discrimination in America.
Metal thieves target AC units
Arizona law enforcement and lawmakers are working to crack down on the newest kind of metal theft. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.
MARK BRODIE: Last month, a thief caused more than $20,000 worth of damage to the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix, by stealing parts out of an air conditioning unit. Sergeant Theresa Clark with the Phoenix Police Department’s Metal Theft Unit says would-be metal thieves can get up to $135 for a compressor and condenser coil from the AC unit at a single family house. And, she says the pain is being spread around.
THERESA CLARK: Mostly in the Phoenix area, we’ve seen the majority of them it’s single family residences. And, it doesn’t have to be one that’s bank-owned or foreclosed, it happens at ones that are actually occupied, as well. We’re having a lot happen at commercial businesses, retail businesses, churches, schools, you name it.
BRODIE: Clark says some crooks just take the components they want, while others take the entire unit. A bill introduced at the state capitol would ban scrap metal yards from buying AC components unless they come from someone with an industrial account. Clark says existing laws targeting other metals in the same way have been effective.