La Porte police seek help with stolen air conditioners
La Porte police are asking members of the community to help them track down the growing number of stolen air-conditioning units.
Investigators say they have seen a significant increase in the number of air conditioners being stolen. La Porte Police detectives say a majority of the cooling units have been stolen from the east side of town. Officers say the thieves are usually after copper wire found inside the air conditioners.
Because of this growing trend, police are asking residents to watch for suspicious activity, such as people lurking around unoccupied homes and businesses after hours. Investigators say rental properties and vacant homes for sale are also easy targets. They ask people to immediately report anything unusual to law enforcement.
According to a release issued by the LaPorte Police Department, a lone suspect usually walks or drives around an area to research accessibility to air conditioning units. Then, after a site is selected, thieves arrive in groups of two or three to disconnect the AC and load it into a truck bed. Police say stolen AC units are dismantled at another location. Various parts and precious metals, including copper and aluminum, are sold to area scrap yards for profit.
Police say many parts do not have serial numbers or other identifiable markings, so detectives recommend writing down the make, model and serial number from all of the components related to their exterior air conditioning unit. They say that will help investigators identify the property if it is stolen and later recovered.
All suspicious activity can be reported to the La Porte Police Department at 281-471-2141. Anyone with information about the recent thefts should contact Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-8477 or www.crime-stoppers.org.