Copper thieves have climbed on the roof top of a St. Louis charter school twice in one month to steal a commercial air conditioning unit along with copper and condensers from four other units.

The latest thefts occurred Monday night at Lift For Life Academy on South Broadway in the Kosciusko neighborhood east of Soulard. Executive Director Marshall Cohen said his school can’t continue to suffer the losses. He fears insurance cancellation and high insurance rates as a result of the replacements.

He said in early August a thief stole an air conditioning unit that cost $13,000 to replace. They learned they had been hit when the system only blew out hot air.

“It was real hot and we turned on the system and it wasn’t putting anything out,” he said.

He questioned the logic of scrap dealers in buying copper that may be stolen.

“Don’t these scrap dealers see this is brand new copper when it comes in?” he said. “They’ve got to do something.”

He said police met with business owners last week to discuss the nationwide problem. He said police are working hard to find the thieves, who may also be responsible for similar thefts from nearby businesses.

The charter school has a roster of 575 students with limited resources. While the school has insurance, Cohen said anyone who wants to donate to the non-profit school can mail a check to Lift For Life Academy, 1731 South Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63104.