With Winter Storm Vulcan hammering the Northeastern region of the United States and the brutal temperatures of the historically-cold January and February just now subsiding, air conditioning units haven’t exactly been in high demand. Perhaps that logic was appealing to a pair of burglars from Muskogee County, Oklahoma who thought they could get away with a quick theft of air conditioning units from a local school. Or maybe the not-so-dynamic duo just thought that the school wouldn’t miss them because of the harsh winter. Either way, the two men were caught and wound up in jail.
At around 1:30 a.m., the Sequoyah County Sherriff’s Department received a call from a neighbor of the school about a suspicious vehicle. After arriving, the deputy who first responded saw the truck quickly pull away. After a brief chase, in which speeds reached up to 90 mph, he was able to pull the truck over and found four Rheem air conditioning units inside.
Dylan Compton and Robert Ford, both 21, were arrested and booked into the jail on theft complaints.
Later, it was confirmed that the units belonged to the Marble City Public School. Apparently, authorities arrived in time to save a fifth unit from being captured, since the wires were cut on it.
The two men were also found to be in possession of an organ that was discovered to be the property of the Cherokee Children Mission Church in Adair County, Oklahoma. The two men are suspects for several thefts in the area.
“It’s a pretty significant problem here in Florida,” explains Andrew Dennis, Owner Contractor of Andy’s Air Inc. “People have been known to steal Freon and copper right out of the units themselves, because the prices have skyrocketed. Here in Florida, it’s code that we have to put locking caps on the service valves to keep people from stealing the refrigerant.”
It is not clear why the men were stealing AC units at this time of year. Most likely, they were looking to sell the units for profit and make a quick buck, but it is always possible that they were just trying to get their own homes ready for the hot summer months by customizing the commercial-grade air conditioners.
They are scheduled to appear in court on March 19.