Police are investigating vandalism to several heat pump units at the Village Apartments in Blacksburg over the weekend.
According to the police, more than 10 HVAC units were damaged beyond repair. Damages are estimated at $60,000.
In an email sent to residents on Tuesday, the general manager of The Village at Blacksburg, Becky Tomlin, said a majority of the property is currently without air conditioning because of the incident.
The email continues on to say replacement units have been ordered but can’t be installed until the Blacksburg Police Department allows the damaged HVAC units to be moved.
“The manner in which (the culprits) destroyed the heat pumps meant they couldn’t be repaired,” said Sgt. Nathan P. O’Dell of the Blacksburg Police.
“It’s a felony because of the dollar amount, anything over $1,000 in Virginia is a felony,” said Nathan.
According to Nathan, the vandalism is a class 6 felony and those charged could be fined up to $2,500 and sentenced to 1-to-5 years in prison.
Stephanie Tysor is a sophomore accounting major who has lived at the Village for the past year. While the vandalism on the HVAC units hasn’t affected her directly, she said she isn’t very surprised.
“The vandalism here has been really bad all year,” Tysor said. “The lights outside our apartment are always broken.”
Tysor said in addition to stealing the address numbers off of apartment buildings, people will also come at night and take lightbulbs from the fixtures outside their door.
“It happens almost every single weekend,” she said.
The investigation on the HVAC units is still underway, and the Village at Blacksburg is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.