Two crooks loaded the air-conditioner in the truck and were gone.

With the Texas heat scorching Dallas, Gary Gilmore has been building his new home in Preston Hollow. Like every home in Texas, his would need air-conditioning to fight the rising temperatures Texans experience in summer. Builders had a $3,800 air-conditioning unit ready to install. But the construction site became a crime scene recently when two men stopped by in their truck and took advantage of an easy chance to steal.

“It’s a home that’s under construction,” Gilmore says. “It happened right in the middle of the day. All the neighbors saw them do it. They just threw it in the back of their truck and drove off. I’m disappointed.”

Gilmore hopes that police will be able to catch the thieves responsible.

“Some neighbors got their license plate number,” he says.

Dallas Police Lt. Barry Payne of the Dallas Police North Central Patrol Division says in this case, the suspects stole copper tubing as well. The case was assigned to the scrap metal unit and still is under investigation. Payne says the investigator is in the process of contacting suspects.

This kind of crime is common, and the neighbor getting the license plate number is a huge help to police, Payne says.

“Construction site theft is common, and we catch them periodically,” Payne says. “Many are committed by people stealing copper wire, scrap metal and air-conditioner parts, and many are committed by people stealing appliances. Contractors should generally be advised not to have construction materials and appliances delivered until the last possible time before their use. Thieves know that these locations are generally unoccupied and as such are vulnerable to theft. I guess the secret would be to leave nothing around for long periods of time.”

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.