Mt. Vernon police searching for suspects in thefts at vacant homes

Mt. Vernon police searching for suspects in thefts at vacant homes

MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - The Jefferson County, Illinois Crime Stoppers is asking for help identifying people accused of stealing central air units in the Mount Vernon area.

The suspects are described as a white man or men in a red and white Ford Ranger. The truck is red on top and bottom with a white stripe in the middle.

Jim Jacobs, a heating and cooling expert and owner of Jacobs Heating in Carbondale, Ill. tells Heartland News these thefts are happening all across the Heartland.

Jacobs says a typical unit costs $2,000 to $5,000 dollars depending on its size. He says thieves typically break the unit and steal the valuable metals inside such as copper and aluminum.

"The thieves are probably getting about $30," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said if the whole units aren't taken and are only broken, the unit is typically unrepairable.

There are ways you can deter thieves from stealing your unit. Jacobs says you can purchase a cage that surrounds your unit and makes it harder for thieves to break in, there are alarms the will sound and can advise police, and he also advises home owners to install the units in a well-lit area.

Mt. Vernon police say the thefts were at homes that were vacant and had realty signs in the yard. The thefts were during the day.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Mt. Vernon Police Department at 242-2131, 242-0215 or by making an anonymous tip to the Jefferson County Crime Stoppers tip line at 242-4877(TIPS).

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