Air conditioners stolen from eastern Kansas City homes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A neighborhood on the eastern edge of Kansas City might be the hottest place in the metro.

Residents there tell FOX 4 their air conditioners have been stolen. They say eight of them have been taken in the last two weeks.

Robert Ellis knows what thieves want. He's the president of the homeowners association at Royal View Meadows, which has 105 residences inside.

"I get the calls," Ellis said. "I talk to police with them and everything else."

Ellis said the most recent of those calls came Tuesday morning around 5:30 a.m., when one resident was pulling out of her driveway for work.

"She opened up her blinds, and said, 'Whoa, something's missing," Ellis said.

The woman's Trane heat pump -- a one-ton model -- was gone. The machine weighs about 100 pounds, and there's still a trail liquid in the street from where it was loaded into someone's vehicle.

All that's left behind is the pad that sits under the unit, and the cut wires that connect the air conditioner to the house. Residents suspect the crooks wanted the copper wires themselves. Ellis says it's happened a total of eight times in two weeks.

Since the thefts, Ellis has put on a padlock protecting his air conditioning wires, but Sherry Fetzer couldn't act fast enough. Since her creature-comforts were stolen, her townhome has been as hot as 95 degrees.

"What upsets me is when they took the air conditioners, it short-circuited our thermostats as well," Ellis said. "Even if we replace the air conditioners, we have no heat."

Ellis estimates each air conditioning unit costs anywhere from $1,200-$1,500, and that doesn't include the Freon or the labor needed to make them work.

Residents at that community have filed a complaint with Kansas City police. FOX 4 requested an interview with that agency, but as of 5 p.m. Friday, our calls had not been returned.

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