That’s cold: Police say thieves are stealing air conditioners

Published 3:22 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Thieves in Brookhaven have a new, cold target — air conditioning units.

“People are stealing whole A/C systems,” Police Chief Kenneth Collins told the mayor and Board of Aldermen Tuesday.

The units are being taken from rental properties and vacant houses — any property that is temporarily unoccupied — and they are not the small window unit variety.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“You’re talking about central units?” Mayor Joe Cox asked.

“Yes, sir,” Collins said.

The chief said thieves are pulling up with trucks and/or trailers, disconnecting the units quickly, and taking them from the properties.

“This is what we’re working on right now,” said Collins.

Collins also asked the Board to approve suggested changes to his department’s command structure.

He recommended Det. Capt. Penny Banks be promoted to Assistant Chief of Police, and that Det. Master Sgt. Jonathan Hart and Det. M. Sgt. Tim Sander each be promoted to captain. Collins said the master sergeants already command investigations, and are in charge of training for investigators and the Special Response Team.

Ward 5 Alderman Fletcher Grice motioned to approve the Assistant Chief recommendation, but the motion died for lack of second. Grice then moved to approve the promotions of the master sergeants, but withdrew the motion after a flurry of questions and conversation amongst board members.

Alderman-at-large Don Underwood questioned whether the Police Department’s organizational chart had room for two captain positions. Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore said he would like to review the chart before moving ahead with promotion discussions. Moore also asked the chief how he thought the moves would affect department morale.

“Morale is good,” Collins said. “These people are putting in the work day-in and day-out.”

“Would it be alright to table this until we can look at the charts?” Moore asked Collins.

“That would be fine, Mr. Moore,” the chief answered.

Grice then withdrew his motion, and the board approved tabling the matter until both the organizational chart and salaries could be reviewed.