A/C Cages- Is The Copper Theft Frenzy Over? Not So Fast!October 26, 2015
With copper prices at a five year low, the question of whether the theft of air conditioners will slow down is being discussed lately and we wanted to address the issue.
There are basically two rules of thought regarding this. Theoretically, when you reduce the value of the commodity being stolen, the dollar amount the criminal receives is much less, thus making it not worth the effort right? Why risk your neck for half the money you were receiving at a metal scrap yard just a few years ago? Sounds logical.
However, what if the criminals are forced to steal twice as much to get the same payday? Thefts would go up, right?
At Property Armor, steady sales and increasing demand indicate that copper theft will continue to increase. We have seen little slow down in air conditioner cages and even if the units are not being scrapped for copper, the sale of the entire unit for upwards of $500 to a homeowner is surely enough incentive to keep any would be thief interested.
Video surveillance and alarms just do not work for protecting your air conditioner. We can not stress this enough. What does a camera actually do? Allows you to watch your air conditioner being stolen? OK, so they catch the guy just down the road with your unit. Whew, you’re in luck. I’m sure he will come back and install it just as he found it right? Actually, the cost of having the same unit installed, in the exact same place, will cost more than a security cage once you factor in the technician service call, missing copper, and replacement refrigerant. Don’t forget you may have to go to court to prosecute the bad guy. Fingers crossed they don’t retaliate because you snitched.
Alarms are no different other than they make noise and call for help as opposed to taking pictures. “Calling all cars, calling all cars, we have an air conditioner on Main Street needing help!”. Yeah right, they will be right over with blue lights wailing to rescue your air conditioner. The priority of this call will be pretty low and someone will eventually come by and write a report. The unit is either long gone or no longer working. Did I mention you are without A/C or heat during all this?
Bottom line is you are going to pay through the nose whether they catch the crook, you get your unit back, witness it on film, or even if they just get 10 feet and drop it because it is too heavy.
A security cage is the only solution that gives you a fighting chance because it physically prevents the unit from being stolen. Far too many units are unprotected to risk stealing one that has steel wrapped around it.
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