Century, Fla. (WALA) - Despite a metal theft law enacted last year in Florida, authorities said thieves continue to steal and cost others money.
"Unfortunately, they hit five different buildings on Pond Street, and it's a $5,000 deductible on each building. So we're $25,000 in the hole there, and there's one building where they got eight. We're lucky because it's one building," said Century Mayor Freddie W. McCall Sr.
Mayor McCall said the city will either have to pay $30,000 in combined insurance deductibles or pay a contractor to repair all of the units.
"It's just a setback we've got to overcome, but we will. We'll get back up again," said Mayor McCall.
The city makes regular checks on property it owns. Officials said that's how they discovered the copper theft crimes.
Last week, city officials stumbled on to the first crime at a former helicopter plant on Industrial Boulevard.
City workers had just installed new A/C units to it and were marketing the property for sale.
This week, city officials found eight damaged units at a business incubator site off Pond Street.
A locked gate and barbed wire fence encase the front of the campus, but behind the site a gate stands open.
One contractor working with the city has offered a possible solution against future theft.
"It's got a device that they're installing in churches and what have you. It works on a pressure switch. When they lose Freon, a whistle or siren goes off. And also, they hook it up to the sheriff's department," said Mayor McCall.
Florida's metal theft law requires recyclers to keep records, including digital images of sellers, on file for three years.
Call the Florida Escambia County Sheriff's Office if you have any information about these crimes.
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