Saturday morning, Kaitlyn Smith says she cut through her grandfather’s side yard after parking out front and was stunned to see a concrete slab where the air conditioning unit used to be.
“Why is it gone? I couldn’t believe it. You don’t come home thinking that’s going to happen,” said Smith. “I went inside and I told my grandfather and he was like, no way.”
The Smith’s reported the theft to Garland Police. A department spokesman said thefts of residential units are more common at vacant properties, but not occupied homes. Police can’t be sure if the unit was stolen to be resold, stripped for parts or metal.
NBC 5 reached out to HVAC repair workers who say a unit like the one stolen from Smith’s grandfather wouldn’t fetch more than a couple of hundred dollars on the resale market. The unit would have weighed at least 100 pounds and required an extra set of hands to remove.
The Smith’s unit was located in an unfenced side yard in a neighborhood near South Garland High School. Most of the neighbors on their block have A/C units similarly situated.
Smith isn’t sure why her grandfather’s unit was targeted.
“It was like every other one on the street, it probably was put in I’d say about 2002 or 2003,” said Smith.
The thief or thieves left behind a clue. A pair of eyeglasses that Smith is holding onto.
Smith says their insurance will help cover the cost of a replacement unit, set to be installed later this week.
She’s frustrated thieves stole from her grandfather, a 90 year old widower.
“He’s a retired air force veteran, served at the very end of world war two,” said Smith.
“If this was summer, you know how bad this would have been? We would have had to have been in a hotel.”