Area man says he's invented way to deter AC thieves

CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Russell Durbin admits he's proud of his invention: a fencing or cage that he says protects an air conditioner from thieves.

It's a system held together by a thick, tamper proof lock.

Durbin says it's an idea sprung out of a bad experience with a rental home.

"Our AC unit had been stolen. They had actually cut the pipes from the unit, and then loaded it up, we presume, the night before, and then just carried it off," said Russell's wife, Mary Durbin.

So the two know what is like to see damage in Hamilton earlier this week. Someone stole the copper pipes out of the AC at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts. The heist caused devastating damage, and it could cost the non profit $86,000 to replace the unit.

Durbin says that's the kind of bad news that got his brain turning. Now he's selling his product to anyone who wants one through a company called AC Lock down Security.

"The average service man, he can come in there and service it, and that's with no problem," say Durbin.

If the AC needs a more intensive look, Durbin says that can happen too.

"He takes the lock off, and the lid then raises up, slides off. Lay the lid out in the yard, and then he can get into the compressor," says Durbin.

Most of all, Durbin says his invention will stop thieves cold. His wife says she hears all the time about how ACs are the new thing when it comes to finding copper pipes to scrap.

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