Thief steals family's air conditioner

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - While most Mid-Southerners have the luxury of cranking up their air conditioning, one family has had to endure the scorching temperatures.

Valencia Vasquez had her air conditioner stolen last weekend, and since then, the temperature inside her apartment has reached 90 degrees.

"It's ridiculous," Vasquez said.

The apartment has become unbearable for her and her two children, a 3-month-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Vasquez said she is doing whatever she can to keep her family safe and cool.

"I wet face towels," she said. "I put my face towels in the freezer. I get them out and she sleeps in underwear only and he sleeps in a Pamper only."

Vasquez even hung a blanket over a window to help keep the heat out. She also blocked off her kitchen and hallway to keep the air blowing from her fan contained in one room.

According to managers at the Ridgecrest Apartments, more than 50 air conditioning units have been stolen over the past few months.

Michelle Whitworth, property manager for the apartments, read a statement saying, "The Tennessee Housing Development Authority and HUD are both aware of the problem and have been notified about our attempts procure funding for the issue.  The property is currently awaiting funding for the units to be replaced and repaired.  We expect to have that funding in hand shortly."

Vasquez said having the problem fixed is her only hope. Once that happens, she and her family can rest easy.

"It is hot!  You can see it on my face," she said. "I'm dripping sweat.  All I want is for them to get me some air."

Apartment managers said they have ordered another air conditioning unit for Vasquez, and it will be replaced tomorrow morning.

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