Copper thieves hit Maumelle’s Pine Forest Elementary School and did $8 to $10 thousand dollars damage, Maumelle police chief Sam Williams said Tuesday.

The theft occurred sometime between when the school last used the air conditioning units last fall and Monday, he said.

Cpl. Debra Bagley said the thieves hit 16 separate units at the school that underwent a major renovation two years ago primarily taking the copper wire visible outside the condensing units.

She said a wooden fence shielded the units as city ordinances require and that fence gave the thieves cover to steal the wire without being noticed.

Both Bagley and Williams asked anyone who might have seen someone around the air conditioning units or someone carrying copper in the area to call Maumelle police if they have any information.

While students at the school may be uncomfortable until the units are repaired, Williams said at least its not the hot days of summer the youngsters and their teachers will have to endure.

Copper theft has been a problem in Maumelle but not to the extent that Little Rock and larger cities have seen.