Health Department complex reopens after A/C system was vandalized

Police still searching for suspect

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Two days after a thief damaged the air conditioning system at the Craven County Health Department complex, the building has reopened to the public, an official told NewsChannel 12 Wednesday morning.

But New Bern Police said they are still searching for the thief that stole copper pipes from the A/C system, causing $5,000 in damage to the $220,000 unit. The vandalism caused the Health Department complex, located on Neuse Boulevard in New Bern, to be shut down Monday.

According to Sgt. Maria Bowen,  the theft happened sometime between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Monday. About 400 pounds of freon leaked from the A/C unit as a result, Sgt. Bowen said. Because the pipes burst, investigators could not get any fingerprints. Officers checked local recycling centers, but nobody tried to sell the stolen copper anywhere, said Sgt. Bowen.

On Monday morning, temperatures inside the Health Department complex became so hot that officials decided to close the building to the public, according to the Craven County Manager's Office.

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