Damaged A/C units have business owners heated

By Ashley Nix

TRUSSVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Air conditioning service was cut to several businesses because of some busy thieves. The string of crimes all happened in Trussville, and now police are looking for the crooks.

The outage caused quite an inconvenience for businesses and customers.

You consider hot temperatures, coupled with no air conditioning, and at least one salon with hot hair dryers, you've got a pretty miserable situation. Whoever did this has several business owners heated, in more ways than one.

At Color Splash, the talk is all about hair.  But lately, it's been about stolen air conditioner units, making conditions pretty miserable.  "We have a shop with 10 stylists, it was 105 degrees in there all day.  The air conditioning people worked as fast as they could, but the temperatures have been almost unbearable," said Heather Holmes, owner of the salon.

It's the same story at Urgent Care.  "No air conditioner for 2 days," says Dr. Bob Gilbert, who says the conditions made it less than appealing for his staff and patients.  "We just kept the doors open and kept fans on.  We apologized to the patients, but it was pretty warm."

In all, 7 units were ripped apart just off Camp Coleman Road.

"You really see it when the price of copper goes up at the scrap yards, and prices of aluminum," says Todd Gooch of Hastings Heating & Air.  "As they rise, you see more theft."

Thanks to Gooch and others, new units have been installed, all thanks to thieves who got away with little in return.

"They probably got about 15 dollars worth of copper and aluminum out of it," Gooch said.  "It costs the customer betweens $8000-$9,000 per unit."

Holmes says she wishes whoever did it would be caught, so no other businesses would have to go through the hardship,   "The first few units they stole was over $30,000 to replace, then they came and stole 4 more."

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