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Several air conditioners stolen in county

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By Sarah Bennett

A string of air-conditioning unit thefts largely from vacant homes has struck Hardin County in the last month.

According to law enforcement officials, the units are not being stolen for temperature control but rather for scrap metal.

Radcliff Police Department spokesman Bryce Shumate said about a half dozen air-conditioning units have been stolen in Radcliff in the last week.

Greg Lowe, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said houses tend to be vacant or for sale, but in one instance, a church in Cecilia was targeted. He said individual property managers or homeowners have reported missing units.

However, Shumate said the thefts in Radcliff were not reported and instead RPD officers noticed units were missing. Officers noticed the first unit was missing July 21.

Shumate mentioned that one house, located in the county portion of Vine Grove, was inhabited. The theft was made during daylight and the suspect stole plumbing pipes as well as the air-conditioning unit.

“It’s not just vacant homes,” he said.

Kentucky State Police responded to the Vine Grove incident, Shumate said.

Officials believe the units are being taken to scrap metal yards to make money, Shumate said, but officers do not know exactly to which yard the units are being taken.

There is one scrap yard in Radcliff, but Shumate said the business takes photos of driver’s licenses and other forms of identification of those who bring in scrap metal.

However, there are several other scrap yards throughout Hardin County that exchange metal for money, Shumate said.

No arrests have been made regarding the thefts, Lowe said, adding that police making an arrest in this case will require help from county residents.

“If a citizen sees something unusual going on in their neighborhood, they need to call the police,” he said.

Shumate said particularly to keep an eye on houses belonging to vacationing neighbors.

Typically located behind houses, air-conditioning units make easy targets because they don’t have ID markers, Shumate said. However, transporting one to a scrap yard most likely would require a pick-up truck.

Furthermore, Lowe said it would require two people to carry a unit from behind a house to a vehicle.

Shumate said anyone with information should contact their local law enforcement officials.

“Somebody is out there seeing something,” Shumate said.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.