The Griot Museum of Black History has been robbed of its air conditioning units for the fifth time, Fox2Now reports.
The museum contains wax figures that tell the stories of African-Americans in St. Louis, but in this scorching heat, museum workers are having a hard time keeping the wax figures cool.
For museum founder Lois Conley, the situation is disheartening.
“It makes me mad, it make me sad, makes me sorry, makes me regretful that we’re still treating each other this way.”
The wax figures are not going to end up “on the floor”, Conley told the St. Louis Dispatch, but they will be a lot less “durable than they once were.”
The non-profit museum would have to pay a $2,500 deductible for the insurance to cover the air conditioning units.
Although theft is nothing new, it is highest among communities with few opportunities, and in America those communities are largely African-American.
In 2013, CNBC described copper theft as an “epidemic” sweeping the country:
Copper is such a hot commodity that thieves are going after the metal anywhere they can find it: an electrical power station in Wichita, Kan., or half a dozen middle-class homes in Morris Township, N.J. Even on a Utah highway construction site, crooks managed to abscond with six miles of copper wire.
Those are just a handful of recent targets across the U.S. in the $1 billion business of copper theft.
“There’s no question the theft has gotten much, much worse,” said Mike Adelizzi, president of the American Supply Association, a nonprofit group representing distributors and suppliers in the plumbing, heating, cooling and industrial pipe industries.
As the economy continues to decline, we should expect to see more, not less, of these thefts.