Addison restaurants, businesses hit by copper thieves

An Addison business owner wants to warn others that thieves are targeting air conditioning units right at a time they are needed most.

The corporate manager of the Addison Improv said police told him that copper thieves are a growing problem in a part of town filled with restaurants, bars and businesses.

"It is something you don’t think about. Think about protecting the inside with cameras, don’t think about the roof," said Sean Traynor.

Traynor walked into a hot Improv comedy club last Tuesday -- no laughing matter just hours before the club needed to open for a show. 

"A/C wasn’t working for a week," he said.

Traynor's surveillance camera did capture this clear video of the suspects.

"Clean as day. Even looked at camera," he said.

One of the thieves had to scale a fence to get to the roof. 

"Whoever this is, is not terrified of heights. I could not do this for a living," he said.

Traynor believes the thieves will continue to target A/C units until they are caught.

"It’s not their first run. They knew what they were doing," he said.

The man on the roof worked from 3 a.m. until the sun began to rise at 6:30 a.m. Additional A/C units were spared, likely from a lack of time. 

"Looked like they were planning to hit us again that night. They didn’t know we were open and would notice," he said.

A detective told Traynor other businesses were hit as well. 

"He said in 24-48 hours that four restaurants in Addison had similar problems with copper taken," Traynor said.

One of those restaurants was Cantina Laredo, a half mile away on Belt Line Road. A manager there said two of their six A/C units were also stripped Tuesday morning. 

Traynor says the ordeal, along with new security, is costing $20,000. 

"What they took was a few hundred dollars in copper, but it ruined the whole unit. We have to replace the whole unit."