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Thieves steal Conway family's air conditioning unit while they were sleeping

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CONWAY (KATV) - A Conway family had their air conditioning unit stolen in the middle of the night while they were sleeping. The thieves were likely targeting copper, which can be sold for profit. Katrina Dupins says when her family woke up, they thought the power went out, but then her husband went looking for the problem.

"He looked outside and said 'oh my goodness, it's not there.' It had been stolen. Apparently they came in the middle of the night because we had it when we went to sleep, we didn't have it when we woke up," Dupins said.

Ron Humphrey of Middleton Heating and Air told Channel 7 News that air conditioning theft is a common occurrence. 

"We get calls like this every week. It's a very common occurrence today," Humphrey said.

There are ways to protect your unit from being stolen. New technology allows for an alarm system to be connected directly to the air conditioner's connection to the home.

"If the power's cut. If somebody's trying to steal the whole unit the alarm will sound. Or if they cut the refrigerant lines, which a lot of times we see, there's a little section from the unit to the house and a lot of the times they'll cut the whole unit out, if that happens this alarm will set it off as well," Humphrey said.

Middleton also sells cages that lock around the unit to protect from prying hands and they also suggest making sure the area is well lit.

Dupins says they are checking into ways to secure their new unit and definitely want to prevent this from happening again.

"I never thought about securing my unit, as a matter of fact when we got a privacy fence a couple of years back, we were slow to get a lock on the gate because there was nothing back there. Lately there's been kid's toys back there but I thought to myself, there's nothing back here for anybody to want to steal, so we never did a lock on it which was dumb, but I never thought the air conditioning unit would be something somebody would want to take," Dupins said.