If there were a hide-and-seek championship for criminals, two ambitious burglars in Montgomery County might just have cinched the trophy! However, instead of a prize, they earned themselves a trip to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Their ingenious hiding spot? An HVAC unit on the roof! 🤣 Let’s dive into this comedic caper of copper and hideouts.

Hidey-Hole on the Roof:

It was an average Monday morning on Oct. 16, with the birds chirping and the sun shining on the old Philadelphia Inquirer plant on 800 River Road in Upper Merion. Most of us were sipping our morning coffees, but not our dynamic duo. Nope! They had bigger fish to fry – or rather, copper to steal.

Armed with their do-it-yourself burglary kit – you know, the usual tools you’d expect for disassembling pipes and machinery (who doesn’t carry that around, right?) – they set their sights on the prized copper of an old print production plant. It’s almost poetic in a “didn’t think this through” kind of way.

A Not-so-Sneaky Suspicion:

While our copper-clad crooks thought they were the ninjas of Montgomery County, a vigilant witness had other ideas. Spotting these rooftop rascals in broad daylight, the sharp-eyed observer promptly rang the police. It’s safe to say their game of “Grand Theft Copper” was on the verge of being busted.

Sirens blazing, officers from Upper Merion, West Conshohocken, and Whitemarsh stormed the scene. But, surprise, surprise! Our duo had vanished into thin air, leaving the officers scratching their heads. The intense manhunt continued for over an hour and a half. It was like a scene straight out of a cartoon – Keystone cops on the ground and the mischievous duo up top.

The Grand Discovery:

Just when the officers might’ve started wondering if they were dealing with ghost burglars, an unsecured latch on an HVAC unit caught their eye. Lo and behold, inside that mechanical fortress, our two suspects were found, snug as bugs, trying their best to blend in with a large motor. Maybe they thought they’d magically transform into HVAC components? It’s hard to say.

In the end, their HVAC hideout was, let’s say, less than successful, as their chilly retreat led to a warm welcome from the police.

Game Over:

The hide-and-seek champions of 2023 were promptly escorted into custody without a hiccup and slapped with charges of burglary, criminal trespass, and a few other honorary mentions. Their next hideout? The Montgomery County Correctional Facility, where the beds are far less comfy than HVAC units, we presume. And let’s hope they don’t try to hide in the laundry machines next!


To all our HVAC business owners out there, next time you’re servicing an HVAC unit, remember to check for unexpected guests! And maybe, just maybe, consider investing in a “No Burglars Allowed” sign for the Halloween decorations. Keep those units squeaky clean and burglar-free!

tl;dr: Two burglars tried to steal copper from an old printing plant but were spotted by a keen-eyed witness. During an hour-and-a-half police search, they hid inside an HVAC unit on the roof, hoping to blend in with a large motor. Their hide-and-seek game ended with their arrest and a trip to jail. HVAC units: Great for cooling, not so great for hiding! 😂