Thieves throw AC unit off roof to steal copper

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A couple of thieves went to new heights to steal an industrial-sized air conditioning unit from a South Memphis building.

Police say two men were caught trying to swipe copper from the unit at a vacant building in the 1000 block of Florida Street.

The building is owned by Flowers Baking Company. When a police officer drove by the other day, he noticed something a little out of place on the roof.

James Carodine of South Memphis couldn’t believe it when WREG told him two men were so eager to steal copper, they climbed on top of the building and threw the AC unit off the roof.

Police said an officer was driving by and saw Marlon Reliford and Marvin Dean loading the industrial-size unit into an SUV.

Carodine was relieved to hear they were arrested.

“Thank you Lord,” he said, clapping.

Memphis police began a new effort recently called CopperStoppers to cut down on copper thefts.

The company that owns the building expressed their thanks, saying, “It was fortunate that there was an officer nearby when this crime was being committed. We are grateful to that officer and the Memphis Police Department for their quick response.”

Meanwhile, Carodine hopes the arrests will discourage future thefts.

Both Dean and Reliford are charged with vandalism and theft.

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