DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Dallas are searching for at least two men who they believe are responsible for several air conditioning unit thefts in north Oak Cliff. Investigators said that at least seven homeowners since June have come home to find their units missing, and detectives believe that there are more victims who are not reporting the crimes.
Police explained that the thieves are dressing like repairmen and simply walking into backyards and taking entire units in the middle of the day. In fact, Joanna Hathcock’s neighbor saw the thieves and paid no attention to them, because they blended in so well. “She thought I had a repairman back there doing something,” said Hathcock.
But the men were not fixing anything. They were stealing.
“Essentially just cut the connections right in half, like done in a minute, and just carried them off,” said Hathcock.
Both of Hathcock’s units were stolen while she was at work. “Cruelty and lack of compassion on every level,” she stated. “Let’s take it when it’s most active and most needed. I didn’t know I had to be vigilant about something like that.”
Investigators added that the thieves often wear hard hats and orange vests, and typically target homes that are on the market. “If a house is up for sale, you know everything is supposed to be working properly,” said Det. Celya Ridley of the Dallas Police Department.
Ridley said that the men could be selling the units whole, but they are most likely taking them apart and scrapping the metal. “They’re just using their advantage,” said Ridley. “They know no one is home therefore they can get the unit and get away with it.”
Police said that, with so much redevelopment in the area, people do not often pay attention to the thieves.
Investigators are asking residents to call the police if they see anyone working on a home without any logos on their clothing or vehicles.