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Copper thieves leave homeless veterans inside a hot building

Reported by: Venise Toussaint
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Updated: 7/29 2:55 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A thief broke into the air conditioning units at a homeless veteran shelter and left the veterans inside struggling to stay cool in the summer heat. The veterans have been without air conditioning since Saturday.

U.S. Vets is a place where homeless and transitioning veterans come to get help and get back on their feet. They eat here, socialize here, and for the past couple of days they’ve been doing so without air conditioning. A man climbed on top of the roof and destroyed their AC units.

Navy veteran David Graham is preparing the salad bar for about 125 homeless veterans.

Graham says it’s hard to keep cool and calm after the air conditioning units here were destroyed

"It makes me upset because now the guys have to eat in a warm room," Graham said.

A man climbed onto the roof on Saturday and ripped through two units to steal copper, and left thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Property Manager Andrew Taylor says this is the first time this has happened and the veterans managed to run the thief off the property before he got into a third unit.

"They probably got a total of $150 worth of copper, and it's going to cost us at least $10,000 to replace them," Taylor said.

Air conditioning service technician Chris Wimmer is out assessing the damage and says he plans to order two new units and make the repairs this week.

"It’s going to take a day or two to. We have to get a crane and get everything set up," Wimmer said.

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