BROOKSVILLE -- Despite public vigilance which has even seen the sheriff's vehicle reported as suspicious, theft of air conditioning units continues to be reported in Bracken County and surrounding counties.
Local law enforcement agencies are sharing information in an attempt to solve the crimes.
"Over the weekend, there was one reported stolen at New Zion Church in Pendleton County and at another church in Campbell County," said Bracken County Sheriff Howard Niemeier. "We have also had thefts on Parina Road and Wagel Road."
Asking the public to report suspicious vehicles or people lurking about is apparently getting out to the public which is acting on the suggestion from police.
"We even had someone calling on me one night. I was keeping an eye on a certain location and someone saw me parked there and called it in," Niemeier said. "That is good, I would rather have them do that than not report it and have something happen out there."
On July 25, three of five air conditioning units were stolen from the Primary Plus Medical building on Kentucky 19 and several HVAC systems have been damaged at churches and residences, he said.
"They are stealing the units and we believe they are chopping them up so they are unidentifiable for the scrap dealers," Niemeier said.
The loss to owners is substantial, he said.
A unit costing more than $4,000 to replace may net the thief $50 in scrap metal, he said.
"They need to be stopped. They are causing a lot of people a lot of problems," Niemeier said.
Niemeier encourages the public to report any suspicious activity to his office.
Anyone with information on the Bracken County thefts should contact police at 606-735-2700 or Niemeier at 859-912-2524.