Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 | 4:11 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 | 5:29 p.m.
Eager to strip and resell the recyclable copper from the innards of industrial-sized air conditioning units, burglars have stolen 18 or so units from various offices downtown over the past few weeks.
Many of the burglaries have happened in so-called "Lawyers Row," an area of older homes north of Charleston Boulevard converted into law offices, a Metro Police spokesman said.
One of those was that of Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson at 601 S. Seventh St. Burglars also recently took a unit from the office of the nonprofit, Outside Las Vegas Foundation, 919 E. Bonneville Ave.
Earlier this week, the law office of Kristina Wildeveld & Associates was also hit.
Wildeveld said when she first talked to Metro, she was told to file a report but that no one would be dispatched because the value of the loss wasn’t large enough. She said the cost to replace the unit will be about $10,000, which she hopes her insurance will cover.
Wildeveld said she called Metro back after an acquaintance told her the theft at Wolfson’s office resulted in a Metro investigation. After her second call, she added, Metro sent an officer who took a report.
Wolfson deferred all questions to Metro.
A Metro spokesman said many of the burglaries have occurred next to an area currently undergoing drainage and road work. Because the roads aren't well traveled — some are closed forcing commuters to navigate creative detours — the spokesman said it's easier for criminals to act without being seen.
Downtown isn't the only area plagued by air conditioner thefts; a Metro spokesman said the problem crops up sporadically "valleywide."
In early July, another nonprofit, Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada, in a 53,000-square-foot building at 2980 Robindale Road, had three of its AC units stolen. A $1,000 cash reward has been offered for information that leads to an arrest.