Five AC units stolen from Raleigh K-8 school

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The Franciscan School had its AC units cut away and stolen.

A school in North Raleigh has become a target of theft after several of its air conditioning units were stolen.

A rental AC unit is chilling The Franciscan School while repairmen work in the cafeteria replacing the five stolen AC units.

School administrators told ABC11 it will be at least a couple of days before repairs to replace the units are complete, and until then, the K-8 students will be eating lunch in their classrooms.

According to the school's principal, Michael Watson, the units were stolen after the first day of school and now only their scraps remain on the ground.

"They drained the compressor of the Freon and then they cut everything and took the fan motors out as well," Watson said. "These are older units, and so the Freon has apparently gone up in price and so I think that's a draw."

According to the police report, the thieves got away with 12 pounds of Freon. The Raleigh Police Department said it's much more common, however, for HVAC systems to be stripped for their copper inside.

Regardless of what the target might be, Watson said he's thought about why someone might resort to something like this and shared a message for the person behind it.

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"We certainly don't condone theft but we understand there's people who may be desperate," he said. "And we hope that they realize that even if you're in desperate times, this is not the way to go about rectifying your situation.

"Our insurance company and the Diocese of Raleigh and the whole school community are supportive, and we'll get through it, but it's one of those things that you need to think of the impact of others when you make a decision to do something like this," he added.

Raleigh Police estimate the value lost because of the theft at $40,000.

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