FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — Police reported a string of copper wire thefts at Fullerton schools.

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Since July 16, the bandits have struck five times at Richman and Laguna Road elementary schools and Nicolas Junior High.

Sgt. Jeff Stuart from the Fullerton Police Department said the thefts take place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“What appears to be happening is they are breaking into the power vaults or the wiring vaults on the roof and then stripping the copper wiring out of the vaults,” he said.

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Police report when the wires are cut, the power is lost to the air conditioning systems and technology at the school.

“It’s our children. It’s our future. Without the AC, they’ll feel the heat outside, kids are not going to be sitting still and paying attention,” said parent Mitzi Jimenez.

Repairs to the air conditioning systems have been made just in time for the start of school, but the price to fix the damage was more than $30,000.

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Sgt. Stuart said copper theft is huge in California because of the recycling value and the cost of the copper.