The Salvation Army provides shelter for the area's homeless population, they feed those who are hungry, and they also respond to all kinds of emergencies. But those in charge of the local Salvation Army say they've been hit by thieves. One of the non-profit's homeless shelters on Josephine Street was without air conditioning all day, that's because the crooks went after the copper wire tubing inside two A/C units.
Marc Puente with the Salvation Army told 3 News, "we came in this (Monday) morning and it was extremely hot in the buildings. We had some complaints, and we decided to turn on the A/Cs."
But they wouldn't turn on. Outside, the copper tube that leads into the building from the air conditioning units had been stripped, taken by thieves.
Vickie Wylie who receives assistance from the Salvation Army said, "it's not right, that's for sure! They shouldn't be stealing from people who are trying to help people who are homeless."
Alfredo Franco with Air Tech pointed out the damage left behind.
Franco said he'll have to , "tear up this whole front end of the unit, run new copper. That copper, we're going to have to replace that section."
Two A/C units were targeted, and both will cost a pretty penny to fix. Its estimated the cost will be from $1500-$2000. It's a major blow to the non-profit's pocket book versus the cost the crooks will actually get when they try to cash in the stolen copper which Franco says runs about 20 bucks for a coil.
The Salvation Army will be spending extra money to put a protective covering over the copper in hopes to keep crooks from trying to come back.
In the meantime, no one saw the suspects, so if you know anything about this crime, call police or Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS.