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Why are AC Unit Thefts So Common?

ac-unit-theft-burglary_180x120The price of copper is at its peak right now, which is causing a large spike in air conditioning thefts and burglary. South Florida is experiencing an immense amount of burglaries where criminals are specifically targeting homes, business, churches, schools, any building with access to an AC unit.

Usually, the thieves that steal AC units for their copper are difficult to track down. The homeowner is usually victimized and forced to replace the expensive unit. An interesting case in Arkansas shows how a homeowner caught and tracked down an AC burglary in progress.

AC Unit Theft

Steven Lynn was sight seeing in the sky with his pilot friend. Suddenly, Lynn saw two men loading up air conditioners and other scrap metal items onto a trailer in front of his house. They had broken in. Lynn called his uncle first then he called 911. When sheriff’s arrived on the scene, the men had already taken off. Lynn and his pilot friend were able to tail them from the sky.

He gave sheriff’s deputies turn by turn directions, the plane tracked the suspects for two miles. Police finally cornered the burglars Joseph Peel and Roosevelt Smith. The two were arrested and charged with theft.
The sheriff’s office expressed their surprise at having an eye witness in this kind of case, and especially to have the whole crime caught on camera.

Theft or Grand Theft?

The difference between petty theft and grand theft is the value of the stolen item. You will be charged with petty theft if you have stolen an item valued at less than $300. If the item is valued higher than $300, you can be charged with grand theft. Grand theft can cost you anywhere from one to 30 years in prison. A criminal defense lawyer will work for you to decrease the penalties you might face if you have been charged with petty theft or grand theft.

If you have been accused of burglary, petty theft, or grand theft, your first call should be a criminal defense lawyer who will do nothing but make sure you are represented fairly and try to lessen your sentence.

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