Thieves struck the ModSpace Corp. trailer storage lot in San Carlos Park for a third time since the beginning of August. The thefts have cost the business more than $110,000.
A ModSpace technician told Lee County sheriff's investigators that, on Aug. 20, he checked on the portable office modules and that all was secure in the fenced lot at the business, 16980 James Whitehead Road. When he checked them again Monday, he found 15 air conditioning units attached to the office trailers had been forcibly dismantled and the copper inside of each unit was removed.
This is the third report of condenser thefts at Modspace, all made within a week of each other, sheriff's deputies reported. The first theft was reported Aug. 16. Workers said that between Aug. 1 and Aug. 16, thieves partially dismantled the air conditioning systems attached to 27 of their trailer modules and removed the interior condenser coils. The second report, made Aug. 19, says thieves took six more coils sometime between Aug. 17 and Aug. 19.
A manager from ModSpace Corp. said each wall-mounted system costs about $2,300 to replace. This brings the estimated total value of loss to $110,400.
Yard managers told deputies thieves are gaining entry to the lot by cutting into the surrounding chain link fence. Much of the storage lot perimeter is surrounded by dirt roads and it is possible that each coil was simply carried through the holes cut in the fencing. The condensers, which are made of aluminum and copper, are flat and approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inches in dimension.
Deputies say they have discussed numerous ideas with the yard manager regarding better ways to secure the property.