It doesn't take long for a determined thief to make off with your air conditioning equipment. Armed with a variety of tools, it may only take a few minutes for a thief to ransack your unit for copper, aluminum and other valuable metals. In the end, you could be left with a shell of a unit that takes thousands of dollars to properly replace.

Instead of spending time and money after an air conditioner theft, you can take the following proactive steps to safeguard your air conditioning unit.

Cage It Up

Placing a cage over your air conditioner can be the equivalent of a sign saying "don't even bother." That's because most cages are designed to withstand as much abuse from would-be thieves as possible. When choosing a cage, it's important to select ones that offers maximum protection for your unit, but also allows it to breathe properly.

Light It Up

Most thieves prefer to work under the cover of darkness, making poorly lit air conditioning units a tempting target during a typical night. Adding some sort of lighting around your air conditioning unit can help discourage thieves from stealing your unit. Combining your lighting system with a security camera positioned nearby as yet another layer of protection against air conditioner theft.

Rig It Up

Another way to deter copper thieves is to make their work hard enough that they'll eventually give up and move on. You can do this by replacing all of the screws and bolts on the unit's exterior panels with their tamper-resistant equivalents. Without the right tools, most thieves will have no choice but to find an easier target.

Make It Talk

You can also take a page from your home's security system by installing a similar device for your air conditioner. Just like a home security system, these specialized alarms constantly monitor for any and all signs of a potential theft attempt, including unexpected power interruptions and pressure losses. If and when an attempt occurs, the alarm system triggers a siren to discourage thieves and notify the authorities of a theft in progress.

Lock It Down

Your air conditioner isn't the only piece of equipment that should be locked down. Many theft attempts often start out with a passing theft noticing an unlocked or open gate. So it goes without saying that you should keep all of your gates and fences locked to keep thieves from gaining easy access to your property.

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