Recent arrest made in Charlotte County
“Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a man they say stole four air conditioning units from homes, and may be responsible for a total of 20 A/C thefts.
Harbeson admitted that he stole several units and scrapped them at a recycler in Whidden Industrial Park, and agreed to point out locations where he stole 20 additional units, copper and aluminum pool equipment.
“They destroyed over $5,000 worth of equipment,” said Edward Knight, one of the victims.
Knight has to foot the bill for those pricey repairs – something air conditioning companies say isn’t fair to the customers.
But according to deputies, Harbeson stole and stripped about 20 AC units for copper and made off with hundreds of dollars in profits.
“The guys look like they were very professional because they didn’t just take the unit, they just took what was worth the money,” Tijerana said.
So how can you protect your air conditioner from theft? We found out some tricks of the trade.
“The cages are designed to prevent or actually deter units from being stolen,” said Barry Mitchell, a salesman at Tropics Supplies.
Though, he was quick to point out that the cages cannot provide 100-percent assurance nothing will happen to your AC unit.
“If they want it bad enough, they’re going to cut the cage loose and take the cage with them as extra scrap money,” he said.
But he says some protection is better than none and it could cost several hundred dollars.
“If you’re the only one in the neighborhood with a cage, chances are they’re going to go after someone else that they can grab and run,” he said.