Copper thieves target Dutchtown neighborhood - KMOV.com

Copper thieves target Dutchtown neighborhood

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Local authorities are warning homeowners in St. Louis once again about thieves targeting air conditioning units for copper.

Heather Highland was one of a handful of people in Dutchtown to recently fall victim to the crime.

"It was completely ripped apart. The entire unit. They left the fan and another piece of metal that had the serial number on it and other identification," she said. “I have lived in the city for 15 years and I love the city, but this is one of the reasons why people are deterred from the city. I  have had my gutters stolen in the past and it gets frustrating because there is not a lot you can The thieves can get to the copper in a matter of minutes, and they don’t do it gently.

"When the thieves go in, they really tear the unit apart," says Dan Hagenhoff with Regional Manager with Goodman Manufacturing. "The whole unit is basically shot. When they take the unit off they have to take the top off and sometimes the condenser motor is ruined. That is extremely costly and you are really looking at a completely new unit. That could run anywhere from $1500 to $3000 depending on the model you have.”

And Highland points out the consequences go far beyond the victim's wallet.

"It hurts everybody. I have to file an insurance on my insurance claim my insurance goes up. It costs everybody money and in the long run, it costs our city money. It makes people not want to come to our city and spend money and make it the great place that it can be," she said.

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