TULSA, Oklahoma - In the heat of the summer, thieves took a valuable piece of equipment from a Tulsa medical lab - their air conditioner.

Even though the price of metal is way down, air conditioning theft is still happening. Police say this one stolen might have been taken not to be sold as scrap copper, but just as a used air conditioner.

Thieves cut the lock on the gate, got into the fuse box and chopped off the lines to the AC. Now, there's just a dusty shadow left where the business-sized air conditioner once sat.

It happened at Knox Labs, a drug testing firm, where they still have air conditioning inside, just not as much as before.

“You work hard and then people, they don't care what they do, they take what they want. It's frustrating to file the police reports, the insurance claims, and get the proposals and everything to get it replaced again,” said Lynn Bechtold with Knox Labs.

Replaced again - last October, thieves took two of their three air conditioners. This time, a thief cut through the gate, went in and took just one.

Bechtold said, “Last year there was oil or coolant everywhere, and this year there is not. Maybe they know how to do it better now.”

The area where it happened is dark at night, though there is a light by the door, but that wasn’t enough.

They considered moving the units to the roof but that's expensive, so they'll come up with something else.

“We're going to have to find something better than just locking the gate,” Bechtold said. “We'll have to something now, like put a cage over them so they can't cut through that.”

But first, they'll have to fill the empty spot, get everything fixed and hope they can find a way to stop it from happening again.