If you have owned an investment property at any time in your life then I’m sure you’ve had an AC unit or two stolen. With the price of copper rising the demand for scrap copper is also rises. The quickest way for these low life’s to get a quick buck is to steal copper from the ac units and copper lines running to the water heater and furnace from the basement in these vacant and distressed homes. I have had my fair share of copper stolen from my properties so I thought I would share a few tips to prevent this from happening.
1. Cage Your AC Units. Even though this can be costly ranging from $300-$600 this is the best way to prevent ac theft. These low life’s tend to be very lazy and do not want to deal with the extra effort and aggravation of trying to bypass the cage. Once they see the cage they usually move on to their next target.
2. Relocate The Unit To Higher Ground. Again, the more work the low life has to do the less likely you will be their next victim. The higher the unit the harder it will be for them to get access. This would require a 2 man job. Even though they are stealing a good size unit the profit margins are very small which means these guys usually roll solo.
3. Bright Back Lights. Make sure to install bright flood lights in the back yard where the unit is. Keep these lights on 24 hours or at least install a motion light. Obviously the more light that shines the more likely they are of being seen at night.
4. Inside Lights. If it’s a vacant property and you can afford it leave the inside lights on in the back of the house. These thieves prey on empty houses. If they think somebody is living in the property they won’t waste their time.
5. Cut The Grass. A lot of times these low life’s drive around neighborhoods looking for distressed, vacant homes. The biggest tell of a vacant home is tall grass. Pay a neighbor kid to cut it every week. It will save you money in the long haul when you don’t have to buy a new unit.
6. Bluetooth Video Camera. You can buy Bluetooth video cameras at Home Depot and Lowes for around $200-$250. These cameras link up to your smart phone. Once the camera detects any motion it will send your phone a notification immediately. You might be able to catch these low life’s in time for the police to get there.