Two men have been arrested on copper theft charges, a Texarkana, Texas Police Department spokesman said.

About 5:55 a.m. Sunday, TTPD responded to the area of W. Fifth and Bowie streets for a suspicious persons call where two men were reported to be walking in the middle of the road carrying an air conditioning unit.

Officers found an A/C unit sitting in the middle of the road and two males that matched the description of the suspects approximately 30 yards away, a TTPD official said.

Police were able to determine that the two suspects, Thomas Wright, 25, and Earl Simms, 41, had stolen the A/C unit from a church in the 1700 block of W. Sixth St.

Both were arrested and transported to jail where they were booked for theft (material-copper).

While this is not a problem unique to Texarkana, copper theft continues to be an all too common occurrence. Here are some things you might consider that could help prevent the theft of copper items from your property.

--Spray paint the copper tubing inside your exterior air conditioner units with a florescent orange or green paint. This will make it less appealing to a thief as there is a greater likelihood that it can be identified as stolen and tracked back to them if they try to sell it.

--Use microdot or DataDot® technology on your tubing in place of spray paint. Another product is called SmartWater®, which can be used on any property. See and for information on these products.

--Remove the landscaping from around the air conditioner unit to remove hiding places for thieves while they work.

--Install or improve the lighting over your air conditioner units.

--Engrave the address of the property onto various places on the air conditioner units. It is better to avoid using the property owner’s information since this may change over time. However, the property address will likely remain the same.

--Report any theft to the Texarkana Police Department.

Published: 08/11/2014