Thieves target church AC units
Deputies at the sheriff’s Ramona Substation have increased their nighttime patrols after two churches were victims of grand theft of air conditioning units. One of the churches was targeted twice, said Detective Mike McNeill with the Ramona station.
“They’ve gone to the big AC units outside the building,” said McNeill, explaining the thieves took copper and aluminum parts. “When they do that, they destroy the whole unit. Once that’s done, they have to replace the entire unit.”
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 537 E St., lost two units, one valued at $6,000 and one at about $9,000. The first theft was reported Nov. 26 and the second last week.
At the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church, 527 Ninth St., the crime occurred after 9 p.m. Nov. 24 and was discovered at 10 a.m. Nov. 25, with the loss valued at about $3,200.
Among suggestions to protect outdoor units are have someone stay overnight, erect security around the units and-or use video surveillance, said McNeill.
Anyone with information about the thefts may contact McNeill at the station at 760-738-2488.
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