A rash of local copper thefts from commercial and residential air-conditioning units has prompted an Oklahoma City entrepreneur to create a product that protects property owners from thieves searching for the pricey metal. Local rental property owner Bernie Adler started Copper Cagers of America about three months ago after designing and making a protective cage that locks and fits over air conditioning units.
Adler uses contract welders to build and install the cages, which are custom-made to fit any unit. They are created from 14-gauge steel tubing. He already has a list of customers who have paid between $375 and $500 to have them installed. The cages are bolted to each air conditioner’s concrete slab, “but customers have to provide a lock,” he said.
Thieves tearing apart air conditioners for copper “has been going on for about three years,” said Mike Means, executive vice president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association. And despite the most recent round of legislation on the issue passed into law this year, the thefts remain a worrisome problem for home builders, residential home owners and business owners
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