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Alarms on HVAC units can prevent copper theft

Posted February 5, 2013

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— Raleigh police say copper wire thefts are on an upswing in early 2013, and many businesses are installing alarms on their heating and cooling units to prevent the costly replacements and repairs.

Ryan Woodard of the Joseph C. Woodard Printing Company said thieves have repeatedly stolen copper from the company's heating and cooling system. After filing multiple insurance claims to cover the thefts, Woodard worries his insurance policy will be dropped.

"It feels like you're being victimized twice," he said. 

To prevent the thefts, Woodard recently installed an alarm on his air conditioning unit that automatically dispatches police when thieves pull the power plug. There is also a silent alarm option, which was responsible for Raleigh officers catching a thief red-handed last month, police said, because he had no idea he tripped the alarm.

copper thefts Copper thefts on rise, but alarm can help

HVAC repairman Clay Ewing said, at $600, the alarms are expensive, but they're cheaper than repairing or replacing a damaged unit.

He said his company, Allen Kelly & Company, has been busy in recent weeks replacing heating and cooling systems that have been stripped of copper wire.

"What they're after is that copper that's inside the coil, so they're literally ripping the top off this unit, cutting it out and taking that coil to the scrap yard," Ewing said. 

More than 200 copper wire thefts were reported in Raleigh last year, police said.

26 Comments

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  • itsnotatumah Feb 7, 2013

    Harsher crimes for thefts can prevent thefts. Honest people should not have to spend money out of their pockets to deter criminals.

  • WageSlave Feb 7, 2013

    once again People,, Follow the money,, then put laws in place to prevent it being bought by scrap yards,, crimes such as this are going to be on the increase, ,just watch,, Humans will survive, even if on the back of others... Times are hard for everyone even criminals.. Could this be the great economy this president is spekaing of,, increase in crime which makes others spend money to fix~~~~stimulus package~~ put the criminals to work~~ what a concept!!
    streetglide

    Actually inflation is driving precious metals pretty hard. Its one of the markets that reflects inflation acurately. Look at your boy Ben for the answers.

  • WageSlave Feb 7, 2013

    "Lead will prevent copper loss at my house. Barfly

    And Prison will prevent your freedom. You cannot defend property with deadly force in NC."

    Dead men tell no stories. Of course when he was caught he attacked me.
    immaannoid

    Yea I was taught the same cute phrase in my Concealed Carry class. When you kill a man over an ac unit and sleep on it let me know.
    Make sure you have a knife or something to throw on him after you shoot him....maybe a little crack too....

  • chrisnrali Feb 7, 2013

    Prevent theft? Nope, scare theif? maybe. Annoy neighbors? probably.

  • BernsteinIII Feb 7, 2013

    "Lead will prevent copper loss at my house. Barfly

    And Prison will prevent your freedom. You cannot defend property with deadly force in NC."

    Dead men tell no stories. Of course when he was caught he attacked me.

  • WageSlave Feb 7, 2013

    They need to go after who is buying this stuff. They should set up stings and arrest them and shut down their business.
    immaannoid

    They are trying, its hard to tell what is "good" copper and what is stolen. You already have to have an ID and leave a fingerprint to sell copper. They are suppose to change the standards where now you have to wait for a check in the mail instead of getting cash. Im assuming to track whomever is bringing in enormous amounts of copper.

    Most people around me have had to build steel cages around thier ac unit. I have welded up 2 or 3 in the past month for people.

  • streetglide Feb 7, 2013

    once again People,, Follow the money,, then put laws in place to prevent it being bought by scrap yards,, crimes such as this are going to be on the increase, ,just watch,, Humans will survive, even if on the back of others... Times are hard for everyone even criminals.. Could this be the great economy this president is spekaing of,, increase in crime which makes others spend money to fix~~~~stimulus package~~ put the criminals to work~~ what a concept!!

  • WageSlave Feb 7, 2013

    Lead will prevent copper loss at my house.
    Barfly

    And Prison will prevent your freedom. You cannot defend property with deadly force in NC.

  • godnessgracious2 Feb 7, 2013

    How about little 2 dollar signs that say there is an alarm?

  • WooHoo2You Feb 6, 2013

    How about undercover agents at the scrap yard. That'll put a stop to this nonsense.- Obamacare rises

    That would cause "unnecessary burden to local businesses" and cause "uncertainty to their clientele."

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