When copper thieves broke into the Saline county animal shelter causing thousands of dollars in damage, they also hit the house the next door and instead of pets, this time it’s people who may be forced out.
Eighty-five year old LaVerne Arnold thought she’d found the perfect home. It’s in a quiet area, made of stone and has enough room for big family visits.
“My grands, great-grands, a place for us to relax and enjoy each other,” she says.
“We were really really excited, we knew He made this for us,” says her daughter Kimberly Miller.
But just a few weeks away from sealing the deal, copper thieves broke into the home.
“This is the window there they broke in and this is the only one he’s going to repair,” says Miller.
Piece by piece thieves ripped apart the A/C unit, tearing out all of the copper they could, leaving the family to pick up the pieces and the tab.
“They made it where it’s not liveable at all, you can’t live somewhere where there is no air heating and electricity it’s just impossible,” says Miller.
First Arkansas Company had an insurance adjuster check out the damage.
“They’d only offered us so far $4,000,” says Miller.
But another company told them replacing the A/C unit alone would cost $4,700, not including wiring and other electrical damage inside the home. The family fears the real costs could be two or three times the estimate.
“I just can’t have mom doing that, it would cost us thousands,” says Miller.
Thieves got away with roughly $700 worth of copper but with just two days left before they’re supposed to close on the house, the lasting effects of the crime could be much more costly.
The family’s contact at First Arkansas Mortgage Company told KARK he is now willing to go back and ask the insurance company to take a look at additional estimates. Saline county authorities have not made any arrests in the case.