Thieves after copper rip open A/C at Cleveland elementary school

CLEVELAND, TX (KTRK) -- Police in Cleveland are hoping you might recognize one of the thieves caught on surveillance camera ripping open an elementary school's air conditioning units and stealing copper.

It happened sometime between 1 and 2am at Eastside School in Cleveland. Investigators have determined as many as 6 people were involved in the heist.

On surveillance video, you can see several of them approaching the units, then hauling the parts which they harvested off on a dolly.

They walked right down the middle of a street and through a neighborhood to an awaiting vehicle. Cleveland ISD Police Chief Rex Evans calls that brazen.

"You're stealing from the kids and that's totally unacceptable, " said Evans.

He estimates the repair and replacement of parts to get the units working again will cost at least $30,000. The district does have insurance but must pay that first out of pocket, Evans says. Students in 7 classes were moved to allow them to work today in a more comfortable environment.

Parents are dumbfounded.

"Who has the mindset to do something like that to an elementary school? It's ridiculous," said parent Debbie Baker.

If you recognize the men in the attached video or pictures you can contact Cleveland ISD Police at 281-432-2908.
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copper wire theft
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