Homeowners and builders in Ohio City are fed up with crooks who are snatching expensive appliances right out of their homes.
The thieves are specifically targeting houses still under construction. One of the victims said he believes the culprits may be rogue HVAC contractors, because they did not steal any of his tools or other scraps, just his $2,500 furnace.
“The box slider was right open, unlocking the house and the furnace was gone,” said Michael Camaglia.
Another contractor said he has seen about six cases in the past month of furnaces and hot water tanks being stolen in the Tremont and Ohio City area.
“You work hard and put it in, and someone just comes and takes it,” said Nyle LaForce with Sal's Heating and Cooling.
These pricey furnaces and hot water tanks are worth about $1,700 to $2,500 each.
Camaglia said the crooks knew what they were doing.
“They didn't come with a hacksaw and hack everything up,” said Camaglia. “They did a nice, clean job. They were professional.”
Neighbors now want more police patrolling the area, especially at night.
“It would be nice to have more police around that area. It's just kind of to maintain and to monitor,” said Kevin Meyer.
As for Camaglia, he said he believes his stolen furnace is now being resold for a fraction of the cost somewhere. He has already taken matters into his own hands.
“We put in a security system and multiple security cameras on this property, so if they come back, hopefully we will catch them,” he said.
News 5 reached out to Cleveland Police about these incidents, but have not heard back from them.
Meanwhile, residents in Ohio City are urging their neighbors to keep a close eye out for suspicious activity around homes that are still under construction or being renovated.