HALLANDALE BEACH (CBS4) – Several businesses in Hallandale Beach are being forced to shell out thousands of dollars after thieves brazenly ripped off their air conditioning units.

The thieves likely sold the parts for a few bucks.

Giovanna Benza, owner of Universal Tile & Stone Group, showed us surveillance video captured outside her store early Thanksgiving morning.

Over more than an hour video cameras capture two men, wearing tight hoodies to conceal their heads and faces, taking apart two AC units and carting away the parts — coils, compressors and copper tubing —  on foot.

Benza said the crime will cost her business thousands of dollars.

“You’re talking about a damage of 8-10 thousand dollars for a hundred, two hundred bucks of scrap metal and copper,” Benza told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.

All that’s left now are a few pipes, screws and a cover. But what’s more upsetting to Benza is the fact this has also recently happened to other businesses nearby. She says she only found that out after asking questions once her business was robbed.

“Why were we not informed?” she wondered. “Why were the police not communicating with us with the community, with other businesses?”

It’s a question Benza hopes to get answered. She showed us several other stores in the area that told her they too were hit by air conditioning thieves looking for a cool buck.

“(It’s) definitely not a good welcome to the neighborhood,” Benza said.

CBS 4 News called police to figure out how widespread this problem is and what is being done about it. However it was after hours and we did not get a call back.

If you can help the police solve these crimes call Crime Stoppers at 954 493 TIPS.


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