Museum HVAC thievery

It’s 6 feet long by 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall. It weighs 500 pounds. And it’s missing.
Becky Vargo
Dec 10, 2013


The heating and cooling unit from the Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s warehouse on 172nd Avenue in Grand Haven Township disappeared sometime last week, museum Director Steven Radtke said.

“I saw it on Tuesday,” he said. “When one of the volunteers went out to work in the building on Thursday morning, it was gone.”

The incident wasn’t reported to police until Friday morning. The missing unit was sitting on blocks next to the building and museum officials took the time to verify that it hadn’t already been moved back onto the roof.

“We had a leak at the warehouse building," Radtke explained. "The machine was taken off the building with a crane” about three weeks ago.

The museum director said the roof repair had just been completed, so he was hoping the heating and cooling company had replaced the unit on the roof. But that wasn’t the case.

Peerbolt's Inc. of Holland was lined up for the replacement job, but the company's Loran Peerbolt said they have not yet been notified to do the work.

“We haven’t run into this before — not around here,” Peerbolt said. “It’s pretty unusual that a unit that big and heavy would be picked up and taken."

Peerbolt said the unit could have been cut up for scrap, but that would be noisy and a lot of work.

“Something like that, if you brought it (to a recycler) in whole, it would raise a question,” he said.

Police checked scrap yards in Holland and Muskegon on Friday and nothing like the missing unit was turned in, said Lt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Back in the day HVAC machines may have had Ammonia or Sulfur Dioxide...stealing metals from them was not an issue.
It will be stripped of high scrap value metals such as copper tubing and aluminum and the rest is of little value and likely dumped somewhere.
The machine are serialized as is the compressor(s).
If they were smart they's evacuate and capture the refrigerant as it's price tag has gone through the roof in the past few years. I was in the HVAC&R "biz" when R12 went from $.18 cents per pound to $6.00 per pound overnight.


Check with the local junkers and scrappers that frequent Grand Haven and the township at all hours of the day and night!!!!


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