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Community leaders speak out against air conditioner thefts

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 8:48pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — "We will not stand silently by and let you continue to rip off our churches and our community." Strong words Tuesday afternoon from Reverend Gerard Robinson of Mckowan Baptist Church.

His church is one of several which had its air conditioners stolen simply for the copper. '"We're gonna put forth all of our energy to assist law enforcement officials to help aid them in doing the job that is necessary."

Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White says he is going to do everything he can to find the men responsible, "I can promise the offenders that perpetrated this crime that the Baton Rouge Police Department will leave no stone unturned until we find the perpetrator or perpetrators of this crime."

That's music to the ears of Bryan Golden, who is the owner of Recycle Quick. He says these copper thieves are taking money right out of his pocket. "for all of us as a scrap dealer and for most of us its becoming less and less profitable. We have to deal with thinner profit margins."

Lawmakers, like Patricia Smith of Baton Rouge, hope a new law which goes into effect in less than a month will help businesses like Bryan's, "if someone who sells it without a receipt that whoever buys it, is either fined or there is some kind of repercussion from it."

Chief White says the penalties will be stiff, "The Baton Rouge Police Department is looking for these individuals aggressively and when we find them, we're gonna bring them to justice.""
 

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