Copper thieves strike Memphis City Schools again - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Copper thieves strike Memphis City Schools again

Copper thieves ripped off Memphis City Schools of nearly a half a million dollars.

This is the third week in a row copper crooks hit the school district.

When Memphis City Schools Facilities employees arrived Monday morning they found a huge air conditioner unit stripped of it's copper.

The air conditioner was supposed to go to Lake View Elementary School. That is where thieves already stole copper from two other large air condition units.

Memphis City Schools Facilities Director Brian Shipp said whoever committed the thefts knows the air conditioning business.
"Because of the manner they recovered the refrigerant and cut the coils similar to the theft at Lakeview Elementary School, recovered the refrigerant and avoided the alarm on the unit," Shipp said.

Because it was a large air conditioning unit with a lot of copper, thieves were probably able to get about $4,500.

It will cost Memphis City Schools a whole lot more. Air conditioning units like it cost $175,000.

"Biggest problem is every time a theft of this magnitude happens there's not a repair that can be done have to replace a whole unit," Shipp said.

The three thefts, three weeks in a row, will cost Memphis City Schools nearly a half million dollars to replace.

A half million dollars that won't be going to the many other things school children need.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.

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