Thieves rip off Elks Lodge's air conditioners

MILWAUKEE -- It appears the Elks Lodge in Milwaukee is the latest victim of scrap metal thefts. Elksmen discovered on Friday, September 7th their three outside air conditioning units were gutted, vandalized and totally ruined. Criminals left them with a bill worth nearly $60,000.

"The temperatures in the room were getting a little warm," said Dick Meihsner, who first discovered something was wrong on Wednesday.

On Thursday, it was warm again. On Friday, Meihsner walked outside to the fenced in air conditioners and found all three air conditioners vandalized and gutted, with only the shells remaining.

"It's a sad event. It's like our second home here. It's the second home for the vets that come here," Meihsner said.

The Elks Lodge runs on a small budget, and performs charity work across southeastern Wisconsin.

"In a way I'm glad we didn't see who was taking the material but it's also sad that somebody is buying this stolen material," Meihsner said.

Friday evening, it was business as usual at the Elks Lodge as temporary air conditioners were brought in to make up for the stolen ones.

"It's going to look kind of bad with the noise and the vents but at least we're staying cool," Meihsner said.

Anyone with information relating to these thefts is asked to contact Milwaukee police.