Maumelle, AR - Copper thieves caused $16,000 worth of damage to a Maumelle elementary school leaving them without AC.
As the weather starts to heat up authorities are on the hunt to make sure the thieves haven't or won't strike somewhere else.
When the Pine Forest Elementary School in Maumelle tried to turn on their AC this week it wouldn't work. Come to find out thieves struck 16 different units around the school.
Maumelle Police say the crime at this school heavily outweighs all the other copper thefts that may have only totaled a few hundred or at most a thousand dollars.
Chief Sam Williams says they all result in the same thing though. They cause more damage to the units than what the copper is even worth, putting places out quite a bit of money.
In this case it was a school.
He said, "Copper thieves are an ugly breed of thief any how but when you start stealing from schools, churches and businesses and people trying to make a living it makes it even uglier."
With the evidence on the scene like rusty equipment and stray parts, police think this likely happened a while back over winter some time. Because of this they feel the department may be behind the curve which is why they're tackling this case particularly hard. Police have no of interest in the case but claim characteristics of this case and others could link to the same thief.