Thieves steal AC unit from east Indianapolis center

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Police are looking for suspects who stole an air conditioning unit from an east side community center.

Almost 50 students are dropped off at the Forest Manor Multi Service Center after school each day. Among them is 11-year-old Alton Shields, who looks forward to Fridays at the community center.

"Every Friday one of our counselors, he brings in his PS3 to watch movies and stuff on Netflix," Shields said.

Overnight on Thursday, someone climbed onto the roof of the center to get the AC unit. Police suspect they beat on the heating and cooling unit, possibly with a sledge hammer. The thieves stole copper coils from the unit.

"I come here for summer camp and we do a lot of fun stuff," Shields said.

Copper thieves targeting charity organizations is nothing new. In July, a thief stole copper from air conditioning units at the St. Vincent DePaul food pantry. The faith-based organization had to replace the units and add security alarms.

The management at Forest Manor says the thieves may have used a staircase to get to the roof. What they say is more sad is that they could have gotten more help inside.

"Whatever you got for those coils, Forest Manor could have provided for you in services," said executive director Regina Marsh.

Now, thousands of dollars usually spent on activities for children will have to be used to get the heating and cooling system back in order at Forest Manor.