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A/C Thieves Leave Hialeah Businesses Hot Under The Collar

HIALEAH (CBS4) - South Florida's sweltering August heat makes for a tough workday for employees at a Dominos Pizza Restaurant in Hialeah.

Police say thieves stole the store's two outside air conditioning units over night.

"It's very hot, yes," says Marco Valencia whose optical business is a few doors down from the restaurant and who's outside A/C unit was also stolen.

Authorities say a total of four units were taken from three businesses, ripped away by thieves under the cover of night at the Almada Shopping plaza.

"They shake the cages to see which one is weak, breaks off at the welding, they cut the power and the rest is muscling it onto a truck, then wheeling it to an awaiting truck," says Hialeah spokesperson Carl Zogby.

Investigators say the units will probably be sold a scrap metal, fetching about twenty or thirty dollars.

The cost to the employees of these businesses, however, stuck working in stifling conditions until the air conditioning units can be replaced.

The cost to the business owners will runs in the thousands of dollars.

Investigators say these are crimes of opportunity, crimes that are on the rise and stretch across county lines.

Over the weekend, the congregation at the First Interdenominational Haitian church in Fort Lauderdale, sweated it out at Sunday service after thieves stole the church's six A/C units, by scaling a foot tall fence.

Heartless crooks say police looking to make a quick buck and for whom no place is scared or off limits.

Authorities are urging anyone with information about these crimes to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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