The Washington Post

Your ACs are no longer safe from copper thieves

In July, I penned what seemed like typical blasphemy from Rosenwald comma Maryland — that copper was the new diamond.

Most people don’t wear copper like a diamond, but that’s not stopping thieves from stealing it. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Last month, I felt somewhat justified with my copper-new-diamond line after copper bandits stuck eight times in Northern Virginia, causing gas leaks and water damage.

I mean, how many diamond thefts have you read about recently? Now, how many copper thefts have you read about lately?

Thank you.

Now comes this news from Hagerstown: Thieves are stealing air conditioner compressors!

Four of them. To recycle the copper. The Daily-Mail reports that “the culprits climbed onto the roofs of commercial businesses and stripped valuable metal out of the units.” These thefts come after Hagerstown police have had their hands full investigating “dozens” of copper pipe thefts from homes.

And so I ask you: Have you been a victim of copper theft? What kind of damage did it cause? What did police tell you about such crimes in your area? Has copper been stripped from foreclosed homes in your neighborhood?

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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