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Theft Leads To $100,000 In Damages At Tulsa Senior Center

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

What's become an unfortunately common crime created an extraordinary amount of damage at a senior center.

A copper theft left behind $100,000 in damages.

A North Tulsa location for Life Senior Services had to temporarily close because of the damage discovered New Year’s Day and they've just now reopened.

The seniors are back exercising after three weeks away from the center where many of them spend their days.

Life Senior Services cares for 60 people at the North Tulsa location, but everything was disrupted by someone who crawled up on the roof to steal copper from the air conditioners.

“They took out the motors and so anything that had copper in it,” said Stephanie Blue with Life Senior Services. 

That disabled the heat, which led to frozen pipes in a closet and when the pipes thawed, the building flooded.

“I drove into the parking lot and I said something's wrong here … there's ice everywhere,” said Christy Lyke.

Lyke's office, by chance, got the worst of it.

The water left damage throughout, and the repairs continue.

“We had lots of water damage from pipes, the sprinkler system that busted. We had water about 2 inches in this room, and other places about an inch,” Blue said. 

The theft and frozen pipes at Life Senior Services came during the cold snap at New Years.

The weather also caused problems next door, with frozen pipes and a flood.

This time it wasn't because of copper thieves. They've been hit before and now their air conditioners are inside metal cages.

"Before he replaced them, he put up the cages so if they came back they couldn't get them again," said Patricia Kemp. 

Life Senior Services scrambled to take care of their clients during the shutdown, taking meals to homes, sending out nurses and finding room at other centers.

They hope to finish repairs soon and tighten down their security.
Insurance will cover the damage, less the deductible.

Now like so many other places, they've had to add alarms to their air conditioners, even on the roof.

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