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Burglar(s) Hit Cocoa Site Repeatedly

‘Darkness was this guy’s friend’

New developments in this story here.

The man seen here is believed to have stolen copper strap, copper tubing, transmission line and an A/C condenser unit from a leased transmitter site in Cocoa, Fla., at various times over the past two months, according to Chief Engineer Andy McDonald of Clear Channel Radio Brevard.

This weekend he entered the building and made off with an Audemat-Aztec Relio/Clear Channel remote control unit (S/N 100256), a Stormin’ Protection Optelator phone line isolator and two APC UPS 650s.

AM station WMMV was knocked off the air when the thief cut the power cords from the UPS units and tripped the breaker that powered the equipment rack, McDonald tells Radio World.

At 11:06 p.m. Saturday, McDonald received an antenna out-of-tolerance call from his remote control. “As I was bringing the remote up on my computer, I started getting e-mails that there was movement inside the building. I retrieved the pictures and knew it was an intruder.” He immediately called the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, which promptly sent deputies to the site.

“I lost data connection to the camera and all connection (data and phone) to the remote control. I knew that meant the intruder was disabling our equipment. It appears that he originally was going for the copper strap on the floor, moved onto the UPSs and graduated to the remote control before he quickly left the building due to sheriff’s deputies arriving. He was seen but never caught.”

The station had no audio for approximately two hours.

The image was captured by a Panasonic Pet Cam webcam on top of an equipment rack. “There were more pictures of the intruder that never made it to the FTP server because he disconnected it as soon as he saw it,” McDonald said.

“I believe this may be localized to the Cocoa area. The intruder may have had a lookout, as he was able to get a jump on the deputies, and it appeared that he would have taken more items if not interrupted (he left all that copper strap on the floor!).”

McDonald added, “Darkness was this guy’s friend, as he was able to get most of these items under cover of the night. The leased site had very little lighting around the back of the building, which will be remedied soon by the landlord.”

McDonald’s e-mail address is [email protected]

— Paul McLane