I have mentioned in a previous post that real estate is not passive. Here is another example.
Someone stole the HVAC unit!
Being a new rental owner, I was naive and didn’t realize AC theft was a common occurrence. I realized quickly, the hard way, after this incident. A police report was filed, but they said there was little to no chance for it to be recovered.
When replacing the unit I didn’t want to just replace the unit, as I didn’t want someone to steal the unit again. I did some research into AC cages and decided to make my own for the sake of time to be sure it would be in place prior to the install of the replacement unit.
I made a trip to Home Depot and then to Tractor Supply to get inspiration. After some quick measurements and calculations, I realized I could use 3 gates, a fence post, 2 pipes, chains, and a cattle feedlot panel to make an AC cage.
Gate and Cattle Feedlot Panel
Here are a few pictures showing the process of making and installing the cage:
First Step: Pour concrete and set poles
2nd Step: Cut the Cattle Feedlot Panel and attach to the gates
Lastly, Assemble the gates to the posts, and attach the chain
This set-up may not be as robust as a pre-built cage, but hopefully it will deter someone from stealing the unit again. The purpose of the cage is to increase the level of difficulty and hopefully not pick my rental again. At a minimum, if someone did attempt to break the cage, the sounds of the metal banging together would make a lot of noise and hopefully get someone’s attention!
Protect items of value, or at least make it more difficult for someone to steal. I don’t want anyone’s AC unit to be stolen…but if someone is going to steal one, I don’t want mine to be the easiest to steal!
Another item, this experience caused me to question how trusting I should be of people. Was it a random stranger who stole the unit out of opportunity? Or was it someone I had been in contact with? Sometimes it is hard to know who to trust. I don’t like feeling like that…but I will get over it.
Have you had an AC unit stolen from your rental? What did you do to ensure it didn’t happen again? Have you had a similar experience where you question if you can trust people?