Copper thieves hit Fairview Heights strip mall AC units

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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL (KTVI) - Copper thieves were busy over the holiday weekend causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to air conditioning units in Fairview Heights.   The stolen air conditioning units caused several stores not to have air conditioning for a while.

The thefts occurred at the Market Place Shopping Center near I-64 and Highway 159 in Fairview Heights where six stores had their air conditioning units damaged by thieves late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

When employees at the Burlington Coat Factory arrived for work Sunday they noticed there was no air conditioning. A repair technician who was called informed the store that the rooftop a.c. unit had been damaged and copper tubing, wiring and other parts were taken out. Fairview Heights police officers who responded to the call from the Burlington Coat Factory quickly learned that 17 rooftop air conditioning units had been severely damaged. Police suspect more than on thief was involved, using ladders and tools in the dangerous operation.

Police estimated the damage to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition to the Burlington Coat Factory, five other stores had a.c. units damaged: Best buy, Shoe Carnival,

Davids` Bridal, Golf Galaxy and Citi Trends.   None of the managers of those stores would go on camera, but referred us to their corporate offices. We have not yet heard back from those companies. The stores have reopened with some employees saying their stores were not fully cooled down yesterday, but are working better today

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