|Published:||May 11, 2010 4:01 AM EDT|
|Updated:||May 11, 2010 4:01 AM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Another rash of A/C units stolen in Fort Myers, but this time the thieves are caught on tape.
Two of the three businesses are A/C companies themselves, now having to repair their own machines on top of doing work for clients. One owner tells us, unfortunately, the thieves are probably long gone but he hopes the surveillance video he has will lead investigators in the right direction.
Around one o'clock in the morning Saturday, surveillance video captures the first suspect enter from the right. He heads to the air conditioners.
"Then he's going to go, you'll see all this fog coming up here, this is where he's cutting the freon lines," said Kenmark Air owner ken McDaniel.
Moments later, two more suspects appear in the top right. Minutes later, they smash a security light using a cinder block.
"Then they proceeded to steal all my air conditioners off my building," said McDaniel, who has replaced many air conditioners for people who were victims of theft, but never for his own business. He says it'll cost $18,000 dollars to fix his three units.
"Why people need to steal from people in this magnitude like this...this is financially devastating to some people," said McDaniel.
Two other businesses were hit the same night, all on Country Lakes Drive in Fort Myers. At Performance Air three doors down, a fence is destroyed.
"They stole some junk air conditioners from us that we exchanged off of peoples' houses that are recyclable," said maintenance manager Dustin McLood.
The thieves even tried to steal a work truck but failed.
McDaniel says it's unlikely the thieves are local because of the way scrap yards now document suppliers."From what I've heard, now they're coming in, stealing it from here and they're taking it to Miami or Tampa where the controls might not be as tight or they don't know the people," said McDaniel.
McDaniel says he hopes the surveillance video will prevent others from becoming victims as well.
"It's going to be devastating to us."