LAWTON, Okla._A Lawton woman is distraught after a burglar broke into her duplex by taking advantage of her window air conditioner.
It happened over the weekend at a duplex on Northwest Bell Avenue, near 24th Street. The police report says the thief simply pushed the air conditioning unit through the window, then crawled in and stole nearly $4,000 worth of electronics and other items.
Demetria Delaney was in Oklahoma City celebrating the holiday when she received a phone call from her neighbor who knew she was away, but heard some noise coming from inside her home.
Delaney has called her neighborhood home for only five months, but this break-in has her thinking twice about getting settled in.
"I don't even feel comfortable enough to lay down and go to sleep because I don't know who came in and took all of my things," said Delaney.
Three televisions, a sound system and other quick-grab items were taken from her home, things Delaney says she has worked hard for.
"It makes me angry, it makes me mad because I get up and go to work every day and work to enjoy the things I'm buying for myself or I'm paying for. I feel like if someone else wants that same luxury, they should get out and they should work for it," said Delaney.
But how common is it for a burglar to enter a home by pushing in a window A/C unit? Heating and Air project manager Jimmy Dale Garrett says it isn't something he has seen, but if not properly installed it could make it an easy target for any thief to get in.
"Most of the time, all you have to do is just push the interior part of that in and you've kind of got a pretty good hole to get inside from there," explained Garrett.
Garrett says the best way to protect that window is to secure the A/C unit by screwing in the unit's supports into the wall.
"It doesn't take a whole lot, just something to keep it from being pushed," said Garrett.
Delaney says this was the first time she has been burglarized and she is looking into ways to ensure it doesn't happen again.
"I'm going to have to get ADT or something, get some more security because my little dogs are not going be able to do too much," said Delaney.
Delaney says she does not have renter's insurance and she is going to see if any of her belongings begin to show up in area pawn shops.