The Syracuse City School District says some copper piping was stolen from the roof of Clary Middle School, near Meachem Field, sometime last week.
District officials say the loss of the piping caused the school to lose air conditioning. Syracuse city workers were able to come in and make temporary repairs for students attending summer school.
"There's a great community around here and that stuff just makes you put your head down and say - Wow," said Valley resident Michael Collins.
All the thieves were able to steal was a two foot piece of copper pipe but they caused five thousand dollars in damage to the air conditioning system. Scrap metal theft has spiked in recent years according to Syracuse police. Thieves typically look for anything they can trade in for cash.
High school student Hannah McClurkin said she felt bad for the kids that had to suffer because a criminal wanted a few dollars.
"It's really low. why would you do that? There's just a bunch of students sitting there, trying to get to the next grade," said McClurkin.
Just two months ago copper pipe was stolen from McCarthy school right next door to Clary. Neighbors say they know times are tough but can't believe a criminal would be willing to steal from a school.
"We're all hot. It's obviously a selfish act. To do something, they're only thinking about their personal gain, not about the students or the teachers or anyone who's involved," said Valley resident Christina Quijano.
The Syracuse City School District has talked to police about increasing patrols around the school at night and the district may also re-route some pipes to better protect them.
Officials say The McCarthy School, on South Salina Street, had piping stolen 2 months ago.