A/C theft leads to arrests
Published 3:30 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Cooperation between the Brewton and East Brewton police departments helped put two theft suspects behind bars.
Joseph Nelson, 27, and Wendy McCall, 27, were arrested and charged with second-degree theft of property in connection with the theft of an air conditioning unit in Brewton.
Brewton Police Sgt. Steven Ferguson said a call from East Brewton police led to the arrests.
“Both departments have been investigating cases of theft involving air conditioning units for several months,” Ferguson said. “When an East Brewton officer saw the two suspects taking a unit apart, they questioned them about the unit.”
Ferguson said the unit description did not match any of the cases under investigation in East Brewton, but the officer thought it might match a Brewton case.
“When we checked it out it did match a case we were investigating,” Ferguson said. “Basically, the suspects were caught red-handed tearing down a unit we were searching for in our investigations.”
Ferguson said there are other cases of missing air conditioning units that have not been solved.
“We know he wasn’t acting alone,” Ferguson said. “We have been investigating cases like this since the beginning of the year. The thefts have slowed down a little but we are still getting those calls.”
Ferguson said various junk and scrap yard owners are cooperating with law enforcement keeping records of those who sell such items for cash.
“Scrap dealers are keeping lists of people and their identifications when they buy scrap metal,” Ferguson said. “We continue to contact them for leads in cases that we are investigating.”
Ferguson said the unit found with Nelson and McCall matched a unit taken from a home on Virginia Street, which was damaged in a fire this summer.
“We are glad to have a resolution in this case,” Ferguson said. “We will continue to investigate these cases until each one is solved.”
Both Nelson and McCall were booked into the Escambia County Detention center on the felony theft charges and are being held on a $5,000 bond.
Ferguson said other cases similar to the case of the stolen air conditioning unit remain under investigation by the Brewton Police Department.