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Tips on how to keep AC unit thieves at bay

4:56 PM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Putting a cage around your air conditioning unit and knowing your air conditioner's serial number are ways you can fight back and protect your summertime cooling.

Over the past two years in Jacksonville, more than 3,700 cases of air condition thefts have been reported.

Tim Tadlock just became a victim on July 4 as his Westside rental home got hit. It cost him $1,100 to replace the outside unit.

"They were out here for less than five minutes, disconnected the unit and off with it," said Tadlock, who noted a nearby homeowner saw two men in a black truck working behind the house when the unit was taken.

Tadlock says he learned a valuable lesson when talking to investigators on the importance to documenting serial numbers in the event a stolen AC unit is recovered.

"You can prove it's yours," Tadlock said on the importance of having those numbers.

Bob Michell is in the business of protecting air conditioners with cages. He describes business as brisk since Armor Property sells cages across the country to combat AC unit thefts.

"What you are hoping for is they will pick an easier target," said Michell, who noted cages costs between $250 to $500.

Tadlock wants people to realize there still is big problem out there and that taking down serial numbers is one way to fight back and have a chance to recover stolen property.

First Coast News

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