McPherson County Crime Stoppers are calling for information concerning a number of copper thefts from air conditioning units in McPherson. Residents are also asked to check their units for signs of tampering or theft.
Vandals damaged air conditioning units at four locations in McPherson late last week, causing thousands of dollars of damage for a few hundred dollars-worth of copper.
Wheatland Baptist Church, 1139 McKinley St. in McPherson, was targeted and damage to their heating and air conditioning system was estimated at $35,000.
"Our heating and air guy estimates that they got maybe $300 to $500 worth of copper. If you think about it, that's getting a 1 percent return for that effort," said Terry Post, pastor of the church. "We pray that they'll be caught and they can try to make things right. we feel sorry for people who have to stoop to that level to get money. There's obviously a real need in their lives."
The church's insurance will cover the cost to replace the units minus the $5,000 deductible.
“We’re very thankful for that,” Post said. The church also plans on adding deterrants, like security lights, to prevent a reoccurance.
Vandals also stole copper from systems at a home in the area, as well as from the previous location of Mary's Pet Shop.
Sergeant Mark Brinck of the McPherson Police Department explained that copper theft from air conditioning systems is rare in this area, but not unheard of.
"We received four reports of copper theft from air conditioning units around McPherson. We're investigating those," Brinck said. "It's not a common thing but it has happened in the past, so in our community, we haven't seen a lot of that recently; nothing like four reported incidents."
The McPherson County Crime Stoppers organization asks residents to check their homes for signs of damage and to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
Remember, if you see something, say something. Call 911 if you see something going on at that time or if you have any information, call McPherson County Crime Stoppers at 620-241-1122. Residents can also report information online via the Crime Stoppers' Facebook page.