Thieves strip A/C units at Far South Side community center - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Thieves strip A/C units at Far South Side community center

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(TaranRampersad/Flickr) (TaranRampersad/Flickr)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A 45-year-old community center on the Far South Side is without air conditioning during one of the hottest stretches of 2013.

Paul Hall Community Center at 10140 S. Halsted was denied relief from the heat after thieves stole the copper piping and condenser coils from seven of the 21,000-square-foot building's air conditioner.

Early estimates to replace the materials run about $70,000, said Reverend Paul Hall said.

"This could close the center," he said.

Founded in 1968, Hall said the center serves more than 200 people each day during the summer, from children has young as 3 to senior citizens taking sewing classes. The center also provides breakfast and lunch for children.

Hall noticed the air conditioning was not working properly Tuesday afternoon, but "thought it was Freon or another minor problem," he said.

A technician later went up to the roof and discovered the units -- which also heat the building in winter months -- had been stripped.

Area South detectives are investigating the theft.

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