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Thieves Cause Shut Down of North Carolina Child Care Center

As North Carolina experiences summer heat soaring into the 100's, one Fayetsville child care center has been forced to shut down after thieves rendered the air conditioners useless by stripping them of their copper wiring.

The theft occurred over the weekend and went undiscovered until employees walked into the hot building on Monday morning.

Both Paul Davis, owner of the center, and the parents who are scrambling to make arrangements for child care, are understandably angry.

"It's upsetting and pathetic,” said Felicia Cardoza, a parent.

"To me, I just thought that was really sorry of somebody to do that,” said Olivia Hair, a parent.

Davis is looking at an estimated $10,000 in damages and uncertain if his insurance will cover this loss.

"It kind of makes you mad to know that somebody would come up and tear up your property like that,” he said.

Davis had installed four surveillance cameras around the units less than two weeks prior to the thefts. Originally purchased for his home, he decided to use them at the child care center after vandals targeted the air conditioners twice in the past month .

"I'm very happy that I had got them installed when I did. Hopefully it will pay off,” he said.

Investigators said the thieves came Monday, July 25, around 2 a.m. Two suspects are seen on camera stealing copper wiring. The thieves appear to be young males between 17 and 21 years old. One was caught on film looking almost directly at the camera, while the other thief had his face covered with a cloth.

The damage thieves like these cause goes far beyond the cost of repairs and replacement. There is lost revenue for the child care center and the additional costs, or loss of income, to parents who must either make other arrangements or forego work to care for their children.

Nationally, as the price of all metals has been increasing, metal theft has been increasing too.

Whether the cost of video surveillance (and/or alarm systems) is a worthwhile investment must be decided by each child care operator.

Finally, familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and know what coverages you have. Or ask your agent.
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