$6,000 A/C Unit Stolen From Moline School - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

$6,000 A/C Unit Stolen From Moline School

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An air-conditioning unit worth thousands of dollars has been stolen from a Moline school. Now police are looking for the public's help.  

The model that was stolen is a Tempstar condenser unit. It happened overnight Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran School on 19th Avenue in Moline.      

Police say they believe multiple people could be involved because of how big the unit is. 

Advanced Mechanical Owner Rex Ellis replaces A/C units for a living; he says he's been seeing incidents like this more and more. 

"I can think of five right off hand from last year, and the year before, it was about 2 or 3," Ellis says, "So it's going up each year, we're getting more each year." 

He says usually it's for the scrap metal, but in this case police say it might've been to re-use it.

"They knew what they were doing and they were able to disable the unit and get it away in such a way we think they're going to re-install it," Quad Cities Crime Stoppers Coordinator Det. Scott Williams says. 

Prices have been going up for both the metal and the units so thieves are keeping their eyes peeled. 

"They go to abandoned houses, schools on weekends, churches during the week when nobody's there; they'll target them," Ellis says.

A unit that big is not easy to replace. Air conditioning companies and police say it costs around $6,000, weighs over 100 pounds, and takes a couple hours to install, but there are ways to protect it. 

"The best way to do it is put a fence up around it, something they have to really work at getting it," Ellis says. 

He says putting them in a place where you can keep an eye on it helps too.  

"Back here where this [stolen unit] is, it's kind of secluded and it's an easy target," Ellis says.

He tells TV6 some have also tried putting a post in the ground or chaining the units up to keep property safe. 

"These things are so fragile if they want them they're going to get them," Ellis says.

"It's enough of a concern that we want people to keep their eyes and ears open; we want them to be aware," Williams says. 

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 to anyone who has information that leads to an arrest in the case. 

The owner of Advanced Mechanical in Davenport has offered to donate a new unit to the school and install it free of charge.

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