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Total for vandals work: $30,958
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City officials may want to tar and feather the person who mounted the roof of the Ceres American Legion Memorial Building to dismantle the roof air conditioning units to steal copper coils.

The crime in early June cost the Ceres taxpayers $30,958.03 in repairs.

Damage was caused to the units atop the building at the corner of Ninth and Lawrence streets on Thursday, June 6 when a thief tore out the coils and left them on the roof probably because of a spooking. Police said the thief scaled a wooden structure around the fire service line attached to the building to get to the roof. The next day the crime was discovered when the air conditioning failed to come on. The thief returned the next night to pick up the coils because they were gone on Friday.

City staff scrambled in an attempt to get the units repaired since the hall was booked for and temperatures were expected to climb between 104 and 108 degrees. Repairs, however, could not be made and new units were ordered. They were installed by I.C. Refrigeration for $26,908.

The wooden structure used by the thief was replaced by a non-climbable metal structure made by Art's Welding for $2,500. In addition, a $700 alarm system was installed on the new HVAC units by Al's Certified Safe and Lock. The alarms will go off in the event that someone opens the side panels and police dispatch notified.

The high cost was questioned by Ceres resident Don Donaldson at the June 24 City Council meeting. Mayor Chris Vierra answered his concern by saying he heard that thieves hit county Supervisor Terry Withrow's air conditioning unit which cost him $10,000.