Tulsa, OK – The Tulsa Public School District is asking for the public's help in stopping thieves from stealing or damaging valuable air conditioning equipment at Tulsa schools.
"They're just killing us out there," said Gary Rudick, the chief of TPS' campus police department.
"So far we've lost more than $80,000 in equipment and these guys show no signs of stopping," said Chief Rudick. "That's the equivalent of two teachers."
Rudick said thieves have stolen or damaged both ground and roof mounted air conditioning units at four TPS sites so far this summer. The greatest loss has been at Burroughs Elementary School, 1924 N. Cincinnati Ave., where crooks have made off with 13 entire units. Penn Elementary School, 2138 E. 48th St. N., has had three units stolen from the same section of the school. Bandits have destroyed seven units in an apparent attempt to steal copper tubing at McKinley Elementary, 6703 E. King St. The former Monroe Middle School, 2010 E. 48th St. N., has lost seven units on two separate occasions.
Rudick said he believes the public won't stand for anyone stealing from Tulsa's children.
"We need community members' eyes and ears on our school sites," Rudick said. "If our neighbors see anyone at a school that looks like they don't belong or appears to be tampering with equipment, they should call the police."
If anyone knows about air conditioning equipment being stolen from Tulsa Public Schools, they're encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 596 COPS.