Police: vandals target a/c units for copper.

A/C units stolen for copper. / Jessica Fairley

Albany Police are investigating a string of robberies that all occurred within the span of a weekend. They say burglars are targeting air conditioning units and land owners should be on the lookout.

When a tenant moves out landlords are often faced with fixing up the place and preparing for the next renter. But one of the last things that may cross their mind is the thought of burglars targeting the empty space for profit. Yet this is a trend Albany Police say they are seeing more and more.

"Over the weekend we had a large number of air conditioning units that were vandalized," said Albany Police Department Detective Schemika Foster.

The thieves are going into empty buildings and dismantling a/c units. Once they have the copper, it's taken to scrap yards and traded in for money.

Authorities say it's not just vacant buildings that the thieves are targeting. Businesses and occupied homes have also fallen victim. Police are sending out a warning for all to beware and take precaution.

"Secure your air conditioning units with fences or some type of gating. Mark your copper or mark your air conditioning units with some type of spray paint," said Detective Foster.

She says the markings will notify scrap yard owners to contact police.

Foster says, as a safety measure, landlords should remove air conditioning units from unoccupied buildings. By doing this they may avoid a costly loss. Authorities say since this sort of crime has picked up, everyone should be on the lookout. Tony Bready, a renter, says he's one step ahead.

"Me and my neighbors, we are real close. We watch each other's area," said Tony Bready

Authorities say renters and landlords should keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, never hesitating to contact the law.