Director of Packard Museum: A/C damage ‘assault’ on Warren

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Recent thefts of copper wires from air conditioning units at a Warren museum could put many artifacts inside at risk.

Warren police are tracking down leads, trying to figure out who damaged the A/C units at the National Packard Museum two days in a row. Executive Director Mary Ann Porinchak said there’s not much left of them.

“It’s very sickening.”

Not once, but twice this weekend the units were the target of copper thieves. They snipped wires, sliced off copper pipes, and removed fans.

In order to preserve everything in the museum — from the furs to the leather seats in the cars — the air needs to be kept at a consistent 71 degrees. The theft puts that climate control in jeopardy.

“If we were not able to keep that constant temperature, then you have leather, and metal, and paper, and everything expanding and contracting,” Porinchak said. “The humidity building up or dropping too low, and then you have cracking and curling, and things like that.”

She said one of the units was temporarily fixed but all three will need to be replaced soon. Porinchak believes their insurance will cover the $26,000 price tag to replace them.

Since the museum is a nonprofit, it will need to come up with a way to take additional safety measures to prevent this from happening again.

“At this point, I’m gonna have to pull a rabbit out of my hat or we’re gonna have to have an angel come forward and just help us with this,” Porinchak said.

She said causing this kind of damage to the museum and, potentially, its contents is “really, really low.”

“Attacking this building in that way and putting the collection in harm’s way is definitely assault on a city, assault on our culture and our history here.”