Air Conditioning Unit Thefts

As the heat rises in East Texas, so does the number of thefts. And there's one thing in particular many thieves are looking for: air conditioning units.

"Most of the thefts we see are at vacant houses or vacant businesses, not those that are occupied. But it's possible that they could steal one from an occupied residence as well. It's just much less common," said Lt. David Young of the Lufkin Police Department.

Although less common, that's exactly what happened during the early morning hours here in one Lufkin neighborhood.

Lufkin police say an air conditioning unit was stolen from one resident's home on Bonner Street.

The thief then went across the street and tried to steal a central air conditioning unit from the Office Furniture Warehouse.

"We're seeing an increase in the central air conditioning units being stolen from outside homes and businesses as well. We believe these are being taken for the scrap metal that can be obtained from them. They contain a lot of copper and other things that they can resale," Lt. Young told us.

One neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, told us she's shocked to know what's happening near her home.

"That's terrible! I would be furious if I had come in and this had happened to me!"

Many neighbors we spoke to think police should increase patrols in the area.

They also tell us they hope keeping their porch lights on at night and watching each other's home will be enough to prevent any future thefts.