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Child Care Hit By AC Thieves For 5th Time

Thieves struck a Ft. Lauderdale child care center for the fifth time this month. The Prophecy Child Care Center has had its air conditioning system's copper components and wires stolen repeatedly; so many times in fact, that the owners fear the latest theft could shut them down.

 "I'm very scared," said Pastor Leonard Robinson,  after the most recent theft.

During this latest theft, thieves took out the entire inside of the unit, leaving it gutted. The previous four times, thieves had "only" stripped the unit of some copper, but this time they dismantled the entire unit, leaving the center to face the heat as summer approaches. 
 
This story, reported on local television stations throughout South Florida, has left many wondering exactly what's happening.
 
According to reports, the center has already spent thousands of dollars for alarm systems and security. 
 
No mention was made of whether or not the alarm systems were wired into the police department or a service which notifies the police. If so, one has to question the response time of the police. After all, it takes a while to dismantle a commercial air conditioning unit, strip it of its copper components, and haul it away.
 
There were no comments from police, and one wonders if they have the man power to stake out the center in hopes of catching the culprits.
 
Then there is the possibility of it being an inside job. Five times in a month raises suspicions that someone working at the center is tipping off cronies as to the alarm's capabilities, police presence (or lack thereof) or if a guard has been hired.
 
Which leaves us with the question of what do you do if you are repeatedly burglarized?
 
While thousands were reportedly spent on alarms and security, we are left to wonder just what type of alarms and security were purchased.
 
If your alarm isn't wired into your local police station, or a police notifying service, and merely produces sound, it is probably useless.
 
Too many car alarms sounding without provocation have caused most of us to pay little attention to sounding alarms.   We've learned to ignore them unless they are going off in our own homes or businesses. For the most part, we await for them to stop so we can get back to sleep. By the time some annoyed listener calls the police to report that they are being kept awake because of an alarm, the thieves are long gone.
 
Video surveillance may allow law enforcement to identify the thieves and hopefully apprehend them.
 
If your location is one that lends itself to being fenced, that is a consideration in keeping the unwanted out.
 
Lastly, an on site night watchman or security guard will likely be able to prevent most burglaries, but the cost easily surpasses $20,000 annually.
 
These types of air conditioning and copper thefts have plagued small businesses, child care centers, and houses of worship ever since metal prices took off several years ago. As this is being written (April 15th), copper has plunged to its lowest level in 11.5 years. Perhaps that will help.
 
Meanwhile, Pastor Robinson is left beseeching his community for help in solving this crime and replacing the center's air conditioner.
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