Heat and frustration grow at Northland business, as thieves steal two large A/C units

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GLADSTONE, Mo. -- A family-owned business in the metro's Northland is feeling the heat.

Their store's two air conditioning units are gone, stolen in the middle of the night, as they told Gladstone Police on Wednesday morning. It's untempered timing too, as the mercury outside climbs into the mid-90s.

"It's infuriating. You work so hard to get ahead," Jenna Campobasso told FOX 4 News. "It's just frustrating!"

It's an expensive theft, according to owners at that forthcoming business in Gladstone.

Jenna Campobasso and her husband, Anthony, said they've worked on renovating the old Gladstone Flowers location for a year. When Anthony came to the store on Wednesday morning, an electrician gave him the bad news: the store's two Champion air conditioning units had been stolen.

Anthony points out tire tracks are still in the grass where crooks may have used a truck to haul them off.

"(The electrician) said, 'Anthony, you're not going to be in a good mood'," Campabasso said.

Campabasso said the two cooling units -- one of them, a four-ton unit, the other, a two-ton cooling device, will cost about $5,000 to replace. Thieves left copper wires hanging where the units were once attached to the building, choosing the more expensive target instead.

A renovation crew keeps working inside the store on North Oak Trafficway, where Anthony plans to move his t-shirt business and Jenna will open a hair salon. With no air conditioning, it's well over 100 degrees where those painters and drywall installation workers continue to toil.

"We're stuck here with needing a new unit, and not knowing if another one will be safe," Jenna Campobasso said.

Jenna said it will be too hard to move the replacement air system to the store's roof, and the old units would have been covered by an anti-theft cage and security cameras, but they hadn't been hooked up yet, since the Campobassos are new to this location.

The Campobassos said they've recorded the serial numbers from both of those air conditioning machines. They first posted details of the theft to the popular Stolen KC Facebook group.

"Shame on you," Jenna Campobasso said. "Karma is going to bite you in the butt one day, and I hope you get caught so you can't do this to other small businesses or homes that are trying to make ends meet."

Anthony is slightly more sympathetic, saying he knows people go through hard times, and he's hopeful someone will bring the A/C units back. If you can help investigators find them, please call the Gladstone Police Department.

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