Copper thieves hit Summer Ave. businesses - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Copper thieves hit Summer Ave. businesses

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Lisa Araya, owner of the Cottage Restaurant, was forced to shut down for the day on Wednesday because her air conditioning unit was not working; she says copper thieves ripped out the unit's wiring.

She says repairing the A/C unit and replacing the alarm system that the thieves also cut the wires from will cost $1,600; she's also losing hundreds that customers would be spending if she was open.

"Not only did it hurt me, it hurt my employees," says Araya, "I'm here, too, trying to keep my employees here with jobs. Everybody here has a family and that hurt them when I had to send everyone home and close."

Another business, J.R.'s Auto Sales, says surveillance video from their shop during their copper theft incident shows MPD officers checking the exterior of the building and leaving; six minutes later, the shop owner says, the copper theft walked out of the building.

Araya is also not happy with the Memphis police's response to the crimes. 

At the time of the theft, Araya says she went to her business after the alarm company called her and police followed shortly after; the restaurant owner says two police officers stayed outside and another officer stood by the doorway as she was inside investigating.

"To me, he should've walked with me through the building in the kitchen. What if there would have been someone back there?" says Araya.

Owners of the Super Submarine Sandwich Shop are in the middle of moving to their new Summer Avenue location. They say thieves ransacked their building's air conditioning units twice soon after they bought the new location, costing the business owners $30,000 to replace.

MORE: Copper thefts threaten U.S. critical infrastructure (

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