AC units ripped off from local law offices downtown
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
CREATED Aug. 15, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The fans are blowing strong in Kristina Wildeveld's downtown law office, but her employees are still sweltering inside and working without air conditioning since the unit was ripped off.
"I've told my office staff that they can leave, but they're troopers," Wildeveld said. "We have fans going and they're staying."
Wildeveld said the thieves struck Monday night and entered the property through her back gate, which is now off the hinges. What's left of the AC unit is a wiry mess stripped of copper and other valuable metals.
"We've gotten bids anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000," Wildeveld said when asked how much it would cost to replace the unit.
It's an expensive fix and a real headache knowing the copper inside is only worth about $100 in scrap metal according to Wildeveld.
Her law office has a security system installed on the inside of the building, but not on the outside where the air conditioning units are located.
AC repairman Richard Staubs said there's a way to protect your system if it's on the ground and not mounted on a building.
"They make available a wrought iron cage that can be installed over the top of the unit that makes it fairly inaccessible," Staubs said. He owns Hi-Lo Air Inc. and replaced two other AC systems on another law office last week.
Las Vegas police is investigating more than a dozen reports of property theft in the downtown area and officers are looking into the possibility that the thefts are related.
Down the street from Wildeveld's office Kenneth Frizzell's law office was hit too. Thieves came back twice to steal AC parts from their unit.
"It was maybe $50 to $75 worth of copper that they got out of the unit," office manager Brooks Compton said. "And replacing it cost $7500."
"I asked to have it put on the roof rather than back on the ground so that it would be harder to steal," Wildeveld said.
A Las Vegas police spokesperson said one person has been arrested but police don't know if they're responsible for the crime.