Copper thieves target strip club

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Thieves turned up the heat on one strip club by stripping the venue of its air conditioning.

The south third center has become a top place for thieves  to get quick cash, and they aren't even going inside to do it.

The Platinum Rose strip club has been shut down for several years, but there is still stripping going on here, to the tune of 180 thousand dollars. Police walk the roof where someone stripped all the copper coils from 18 air conditioning units.

"Everybody in this neighborhood isn't all bad. It's just a few that makes everything look bad out here," says Kevin Rayford.

Kevin Rayford just opened a Rayfords All-In-1 hot wings on the other side of the strip mall.  He wasn't hit this time but was recently.

They stole every unit in the whole complex. They replaced them all with new units.

With temperatures reaching almost 90 outside, Rayford says if his units had been damaged this time it  would have meant serious trouble for him.

"We have seven fryers, grills. The heat is already unbearable. And just think, no A.C. Wow. It would have hurt my business tremendously," he said.

The constant thefts in this area don't just affect those involved. It turns into a property-wide loss.

Rayford's message to those stealing:

"We are hiring people out of the neighborhood. Creating jobs. They are making it hard for us to stay in business."

Not only did the copper thieves take the copper coils, but in the process they severely damaged what's left of the units. 

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