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Residents left without air conditioning after copper theft

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 08 2014 09:34:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2014 06:02:45 AM CDT

Residents left without air conditioning after copper theft

READING, Pa. -

The surveillance picture of a man on a bike is what police are hoping will help lead them to the person accused of stealing copper, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Authorities said the copper was stolen from air conditioning units at the Silk Mill Apartments, located in the 1200 block of N. 11th Street, and from Northeast Middle School in Reading.

As a result of the theft, residents on the first and second floors of the apartments were temporarily without any air conditioning as the temperatures soared into the 90s.

The crimes happened at the end of June, police said.

Robert Torok lives in one of the apartments affected by the crime.

"If I catch him [the suspect], my hands would probably be around him, waiting for the cops," said Torok.

To make matters worse, the owner of the apartment building says he's not even sure how long it will take to fix all the damage.

"Don't know. It's going to take about two months to do all the work," said Bruce Becker, owner of the Silk Mill Apartments.

Authorities say the crime caused more than $80,000 in damage.

"We know the guy's on a grey bicycle. We got him on video. We probably will catch him," Becker said.

If you have any information that could help police make an arrest, call Crime Alert Berks County at (877) 373-9913.

If your tip leads to an arrest, you could receive a cash reward.