Party animals damage AC units at Jupiter shopping center

JUPITER, Fla. - It was a bizarre week for a local shopping center in Jupiter.

Some vandals picked the wrong place to party this week, resulting in the air conditioning going out and causing panic for business owners.

On Wednesday night, business owners say some hooligans decided to sneak up to the roof top through a small ladder in the back. After they were done, they left behind liquor bottles, trash and broken air conditioning units.

Paola Armstrong makes hundreds of chocolates at her Jupiter chocolate shop, Tasty Image Chocolate, so she usually keeps the temperature cool.

"Yesterday unfortunately, it went from 72 to 81 degrees within an hour," she told WPTV on Friday.

Armstrong scrambled to save her sweet creations.

"I was calling the landlord, calling the electricians," she said. "I was freaking out. I put the shades down, I turned all the lights that we didn't need off."

Turns out some party animals are to blame. Jupiter Police are looking for whoever damaged multiple AC units atop the Concourse Village Shopping Plaza, leaving several businesses without air conditioning for hours.

"We're talking about thousands and thousands of dollars that was gonna go to waste," she said.

A stylist at a salon next door, Illusions Salon and Spa, did some investigating and was shocked at what she found on top of the roof.

"It was bizarre," said Jessica. "Empty liquor bottles, beer bottles. So they had been up there for a while. And they took all the cinder blocks holding up the AC pipes and made themselves a little drum circle, hanging out."

Up to 20 units were missing adapter pieces, which employees in the plaza said they found tossed on the ground below.

"Who does that? Who goes and takes parts from an ac and throws them?" said Armstrong. "There's much better things to do."

The vandals were scared off by cafe cooks coming in to work on Thursday morning.

Business owners tell me they hope next time, the culprits party somewhere else.

"Younger people that were just out drinking and having a fun night but their fun night screwed up everyone else day," said Jessica.

Thankfully, the AC is back on at all of the businesses.

Police are investigating so if you have any information call CrimeStoppers at 800-458-TIPS.

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