Copper and aluminum piping was reported stolen early Monday from four air-conditioning units on the roof of the new Whole Foods Market on Grasmere Avenue, causing serious damage to the mechanisms valued at a total of $40,000, police said,.

The thieves targeted the condenser and evaporator coils, according to police. The parts have a scrap metal value of about $1,000, police said, but the cost to repair the units is far greater.

It was the latest reported theft of a significant amount of metal in Fairfield over the last several months.

During the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, utility repair crews reported more than 1,000 feet of copper wire valued at more than $3,000 was swiped, delaying power-restoration efforts in town. In August, copper downspouts valued at about $5,000 were stolen from the historic Burr Homestead on the Old Post Road, and local churches and building sites have also been hit by the metal thieves.