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Metal scrappers have ideas how to stop AC copper thefts

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Copper thieves seem to like the Preserve Condominiums in Colerain Twp.

They keep coming back.

The pipes from John Coff's air conditioner were stolen--twice.

"I just had a feeling they were going to come back and do it again, and I was right," he said as he looked at the cut pipes.

He won't be sweating alone.
    
Coff says six of his neighbors were also hit, but this time the pipe pilferers were caught in the act.

Colerain police say they found William Wilson in the process of cutting the copper from air conditioners in the complex.

He tried to get away. Instead, he lead police to his car where they say Danielle Welsh was acting as a lookout. Both were arrested on the spot.

That makes Josh Forbis happy, who knows all about the valuable metals in air conditioners.

Forbis makes an honest living out of recycling, and loses no love on thieves.

 "I'm a high school drop out," he said Thursday. "This is all I know. I've known it since I was a little kid. I started off on a bicycle and a wagon, I got my truck now, I'm advertised. Thieves just get on my nerves."

Scott Monday has been collecting scrap for a living for about 10 years.

He says copper thieves give honest scrappers a bad name.

Monday suggests that home builders make air conditioners too easy of a target.

"(Home builders should) try to put them up on top of the roofs," he said. "Or, build a corral to put them in, locked fence and everything like that."

An idea that just might be on John Coff's mind as he thinks how warm his condo is getting.

"It's going to be miserable in there tonight," he said.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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