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Tyler County Booster - Local News
Stories Added October 2010
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ty Publishing Company

Stealing Air Conditioners is not cool

Tyler County Booster

by C.D. Woodrome,

A rash of stolen air conditioning units has had the Tyler County Sheriff Dept. deputies busy tracking leads for the past two months. Three suspects were taken into custody earlier this month, and eight felony thefts solved with 5 A/C units accounted for out of 12 thefts as a result of the investigations. Window style, and central A/C outside condenser units have been stolen. The thefts occurred at the Tyler County Farm Bureau and Texas Forest Service offices, as well as in the Ivanhoe community. Sheriff Deputy Dale Freeman investigated the thefts in Ivanhoe, and while working on the thefts at the Farm Bureau and Forest Service researched leads that tied the thefts together. Two of the suspects are from Ivanhoe, the third lives near the Forest Service. During a recent meeting at Ivanhoe, Deputy Freeman informed residents that there could be additional groups or individuals involved in stealing A/C units and to be alert to suspicious activity. While it seems most of the thefts have been concentrated in Ivanhoe, others have occurred in the county, and Freeman urged residents to be watchful. He said if a property owner is at a house infrequently, and a strange vehicle, especially a truck is observed at the house, neighbors should notify the sheriff department dispatcher. The deputy attributes the A/C thefts in part to the poor economy. Thieves sell the copper tubing from the A/C equipment for possibly $40 to $50 per unit. Meanwhile, the cost to the homeowner can run into thousands of dollars. When an older outside condenser is stolen, it necessitates replacing the inside blower/ heat exchanger along with the outside unit due to Environmental Protection Agency requirements on refrigerant in the system. Sheriff David Hennigan said Officer Freeman has been doing a very good job investigating the thefts and getting suspects in jail. Deputy Freeman, for his part attributed at least part of the work of solving the cases to divine guidance; of being in the right place at the right time.

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