Published: May 05, 2010 12:24 PM EDT

Some thieves are going to new heights to steal copper tubing from air conditioning units.   They climbed onto a roof of a building to target eight units.   The string of A/C thefts means, homeowners will wait longer for repairs or service.

"We noticed the A/C did not seem to be working, so we called the repairman," said Leslie Morreale, manager at Beachcombers in North Ft. Myers.   "He came and went up on the roof.  Themn he came back down with this strange look on his face.  He said, you're not going to believe this, but somebody took all the copper coils from all eight units!"

Investigators from the Lee Sheriff's office confirm:   somebody cut into the eight units and ripped out the copper, destroying the units.   Morreale says it will cost about 31-thousand dollars to replace them, and she's hoping insurance will pay a lot of the cost.    "It makes me sick to my stomach, it aggravates the heck out of me.   I grew up in Ft. Myers and this is not what I expect from Ft. Myers," she told WINK.

The string of A/C thefts is making it harder for  service-people to keep up with repairs and calls.

"We are looking at a wait of 3 to 5 days," said John Marcantonio, owner of Livingston Air in Lehigh Acres.   "It makes my blood boil to see these units destroyed for some copper wiring that might sell for a dollar and a half a foot.    People are just going to have to realize, they are going to wait for a while before we can get to them.  Between the hot weather and the vandalized units all over the county, we are very busy right now, all of the a/c guys are."

Leslie Morreale is finding that out in North Ft. Myers.   "The people are telling me it may take several days to find the type of A/C units we need to replace the wrecked ones on the roof.     We have fans running in the warehouse, but it's going to be a hot few days," she told WINK.