Local News

Sanford Police Look for Hot Air Conditioners

Posted July 16, 1998

— Friday, police in Sanford are looking for some hot air conditioners. Thieves looking to cool off, ripped off 24 window units in the past two months.

Victims are hot under the collar and want some relief. Mary Whittington is an angry victim. In the past two weeks two of the air conditioners in her beauty shop have been stolen.

"It bothers us that we work so hard for things, and it's just so easy for somebody else to come and take," Whittington said. "And they've not done anything for it and to go and sell for $25 when we've paid $300 or more for them."

Air conditioners have been stolen from homes, businesses, churches and schools. Some have even disappeared in the light of day.

"It seems like it's getting worse and worse in such a small town," Whittington said. "I was raised here all my life and it didn't used to be that way."

"Now we have boards underneath the outside of the air conditioner with three to four inch screws down in that," Whittington said. "So if they take it out now that whole window is going to have to come out."

The thieves have even stolen three of the unit less that two blocks from the Lee County sheriff's department.

Eugene Booker lives in between two businesses that had air conditioners stolen.

"I'm not above them breaking in here because they could at any time they wanted to," Booker said. "It just seems like people are so bold they do what they want to. They just do want they want to."

Police say citizens should engrave the unit's serial number or your drivers license number somewhere on the air conditioner, and keep a copy of the number at home. That way if it is ever recovered, the person can get it back.

Three suspects were arrested and are facing burglary charges. Police say one of the men was caught wheeling a stolen air conditioner down the street in a trash can.

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