Businesses Lose Cool, Customers After Thieves Steal Copper From AC Units
TULSA, Oklahoma - A west Tulsa shopping strip doesn’t have air conditioning after thieves took copper and parts to eight units.
Two times this week, Sunday and Tuesday, business owners said crooks climbed on the roof to cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
There are about ten in the Riverview Center Shopping Strip and the damage is impacting several of them - all with the exception of one.
Inside B and H Contractors, business is almost going as usual, but at 88 degrees, the temperature is anything but, according to Brodie Hayward.
"Some lovely folks decided to steal our air conditioning and the same for all the other businesses on this strip," he said.
The majority of the businesses had to shut down after crooks climbed to the roof to steal valuable copper and coils from eight AC units.
Hayward said the crooks spared his business the first time, but he wasn't so lucky when they came back.
“It's hard enough to make a dollar, let alone someone come in and cost you thousands of dollars to continue to do business," he said.
The copper wire and parts are pretty valuable, so the crooks responsible may have made some quick cash, but now the businesses are facing thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs.
In addition, many can’t stay open, leaving more money to melt in the heat.
Candice Nyan's shop, The Flex Co., is lucky enough to be able to stay open, but she still feels the heat.
"It is frustrating because it was unexpected. And thank God it's cooler today and we shouldn't have to experience it, it just shouldn't happen," she said. "It's really rough. It's too hot for this."
She said it’s creating a negative impact on business.
"It's definitely impacted business. People don't want to be in here shopping when it's hot, so they are in and out," she said.
For now, there's not much to do but wait until it's fixed, and hope that whoever is responsible doesn't come back.
The property owner said crews have already been working on getting the AC fixed. He's hoping to have the air restored to everyone by Monday, if not tomorrow.
Business owners hope increased police patrol will help future problems, but for now are looking into other security measures.