MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We rarely think about our air conditioners in the middle of winter, but Minneapolis police say we should.

Authorities say they’ve seen a rash of air conditioning unit thefts in the past week, centered in the Fourth Precinct of North Minneapolis.

Last week, Sadedora Rogers let her dogs out, and immediately knew someone had been in her backyard. Her air conditioning unit had been tampered with, and she knew why.

“Because you can get a pretty penny for copper nowadays,” she said.

In five cases since late January, Minneapolis police say thieves stripped copper coils from the inside of the air conditioning units. Typically, the copper is sold at scrap metal recycling businesses. The market price of copper this week was approximately $3.90 a pound. Police say thieves may target air conditioning in the winter, because people don’t normally think to check their units in the winter.

Rogers said the thieves didn’t get all the way into her air conditioner – she thinks her dogs and security lights scared them away.

“Somebody is that close to your house, doing something they know they shouldn’t be doing while you are in the house asleep. It’s very scary,” Rogers said.

Francisco Garcia-James says his family was also victimized by thieves. They found out when his father heard a loud noise overnight.

“In the morning, he checked and said we are not going to have cold air for summer; and summer gets really hot, so that sucks,” Garcia-James said.

His family can’t afford to replace the expensive unit right now, and they will suffer without cooling as summer comes.

It’s not just homes that are being targeted. A business on Broadway put up a sign telling thieves not to bother, that the copper on their street was already stolen.

Police want neighborhoods to be on alert for suspicious activity and say, if possible, cover your unit with wrappings that are specifically for outdoor air conditioning units, available at local hardware stores. Some even come with secure locking devices.

Police also say light up the area around your air conditioning unit from dusk to dawn.

Comments (17)
  1. Dos Equis Man says:

    Is this a good time to take all my buckets of old Pennies in?

  2. Bud says:

    Those sneaky Mexicans

  3. Dale Gribble says:

    I had better not see any bean-ers in my yard. if I do out comes the judge.

  4. alligator says:

    its probably just one crackhead doing what he knows will provide him with his next few rocks………or maybe a pair of em stealing whatever they can.

  5. Yawn says:

    I called the police on a white person that was steeling copper from a boarded up building. They took an hour to show up. I guess the spped trap they had going on Broadway by the river bridge was more important.

    1. Git Whitey says:

      Those dirt-balls got me on that one. Just a big donut fundraiser for the dirty Minneapolis pigs. Public safety my arse. They should have arrested the real whitely criminal stealing, not ticketing my white arse for going 41 on what looks like a highway that should be 50 mph. Reverse discrimination you big dark pigs.

  6. Rocky says:

    just keep it in north Mpls, where the illegales and somale’s roan, by the way dat penny ain’t worth a penny, it’s not real copper…..

    1. Hillbilly Hub says:

      Oh but they are, if they are old enough

    2. just sayin says:

      1983 and earlier bud.

  7. jody says:

    So now people have to pay a higher electricity bill by keeping their lights on all night because of the blacks.

  8. George Peats says:

    Sure Light up my Yard so the Thieves Cruising the Street Can see my Airconditionare From the Street . They use my lights to see how to start doing their Handy Work… Let them Bring their own Flashlight

  9. Bearskin Bob says:

    Brett you make a good point. Stripping copper is hard work and not the typical fare for drug addicts. But heaven forbid we discriminate against the precious illegals.

  10. CO says:

    Cops don’t look at theft as a crime. 2 reasons, they can’t give a ticket and fine and the theives might shoot back.

    As said earlier, they would rather be at a speed trap or on DWI stings.

    The public needs to take the law into their own hands on theft, shoot a few of them dead and maybe they will learn

  11. Jason says:

    My comment was censored again. I guess you can make offesive comments and thats okay, you call it like it is, well thats another story. One step closer to a police state. Way to go cco.

    1. Duh says:

      Yes, it’s CCO’s fault…………PULL YOUR HEAD OUT

  12. js says:

    Ever notice that some people have that “primitive look”. You know, like they’re somewhat related to primitive man.

  13. Bruce Banko says:

    ac theft protection is so affordable now if you know where to look. Go to the following website and put in an inquiry. http://www.easygpsonline.com For $199.00 they provide everything you need, and provide 3 years of REAL TIME SATELLITE monitoring at no cost.They also provide the same service for Commercial roof-top AC units, what could possibly monitor better than a SATELLITE?

    Read more: RN-T.com – Rome, Georgia news, sports, business, lifestyles, weather, breaking news and more from the Rome News-Tribune.

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