Company helps replace Porter Leath AC units - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Company helps replace Porter Leath AC units

Copper thieves did nearly $200,000 worth of damage to the Porter Leath Head Start building. But thanks to an Action News Five report, a Southaven business stepped forward and is taking action. Copper thieves did nearly $200,000 worth of damage to the Porter Leath Head Start building. But thanks to an Action News Five report, a Southaven business stepped forward and is taking action.

(WMC-TV) – Copper thieves did nearly $200,000 worth of damage to the Porter Leath Head Start building. But thanks to an Action News Five report, a Southaven business stepped forward and is taking action.

The whirring and purring of working heating and air units is music to Michael Warr's ears.

"So far it's a happy ending," said the non-profit's executive director.

Porter Leath runs the early childhood development center for low-income students, but someone vandalized the rooftop air conditioner units and stole the copper in December.

"It was traumatic," he said. "The kids missed a week of school."

The total damage estimate was $190,000 and while insurance covered most of it, the non-profit was on the hook for $6,000

"A company in Southaven called ScanSource called us up," Warr said. "And she says ‘We're going to pay all that $6,000. And so I was, of course, I was overjoyed."

The investigation led police to Lawrence Keefer, who was been charged with four copper thefts, including two from area churches.

However, he denied involvement in the Porter Leath case and the theft remains unsolved.

Though Warr hopes that changes soon.

"That's the least we could hope for, is a little jail time for them," Warr said.

Besides new barbed wire fencing, other security measures are in place to foil a repeat occurrence.

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