The article below was featured on the WFAA newscast on Jackson Systems’ Warning Watchdog:
New technology sounds off on copper thieves
By BRAD HAWKINS / WFAA-TV
HASLET – As North Texans start firing up their air conditioners this spring, more and more have found their cool breeze has been taken away by copper thieves.
Copper thieves have become such a nuisance, it has led to a new kind of technology created to keep them away.
While sweltering heat hasn’t hit yet, that hasn’t slowed things down for air-conditioning repairmen, who have kept busy fixing units stripped by thieves.
The Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church was hit by thieves four times. The church has had three break-in attempts and one actuall break-in. They have also dished out thousands to replace expensive air conditioning condensing coils, which thieves steal and sell for cash.
Now, the church is installing a first-of-its kind system to protect in hopes they won’t be hit again. The hooked up alarm sounds loudly, and can tie into existing security systems. It is set off for multiple reasons, including a loss of power or a hard jolt.
"Anything that can notify us or alert us, whether it’s an alarm or a device that can get us out there to the scene before they’re finished, is going to be beneficial to us," said Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, with the Dallas Police Department, on the new technology.
Insurance companies haven’t yet caught on. News 8 couldn’t find any discounts on policies for the anti-theft device.
"It’s the same thing as your truck or your house or whatever," said Gerald Bennet, an administrator for Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church. "I f you can prevent a seven or eight, ten thousand dollar [unit] from being stolen, and only have to spend a few hundred dollars to do that, that’s money in the bank. Insurance companies ought to be publicizing this themselves."