Air conditioner thefts result in two arrests

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — On May 3, 2010, Detective Tim Crooker with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office concluded an investigation into two separate but related air conditioner thefts.  The case resulted in two subjects from Vero Beach being arrested, Jonathan Edward Harris and Rusty James Miner.

Harris, 37, of 613 4th Place SW, and Miner, 30, of 2320 86th Ave., were each charged with two counts of grand theft and two counts of dealing in stolen property.  Miner was also charged with giving false information to a second hand dealer.

Detective Crooker’s investigation revealed that on April 23, Harris and Miner entered the fenced backyard of an unoccupied home of the 400 block of 15th Street SW in Vero Beach.

Once there, they removed the coils and other valuable medal from the exterior air conditioner unit, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The home’s owner was unaware of the theft until she was contacted by Det. Crooker.  At the time of the theft, the home was for sale and vacant.

Detective Crooker also linked Harris and Miner to the April 24 theft of air conditioner parts at the Stone Brothers Funeral Home in the 3900 block of Old Dixie Highway in Vero Beach.  There, the two subjects were observed in a conspicuous red pick-up truck with yellow flames painted on the front, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Security video footage shows the truck entering the funeral home’s parking lot with an empty bed and a short time later it is seen with what appear to be air conditioner parts in the back, the report states.

The truck is later observed on the surveillance footage from Indian River Scrap where Det. Crooker found a receipt showing Miner sold the stolen air conditioner parts for $153.15.  The parts from the funeral home alone have a replacement value of over $2,300.

The red truck with yellow flames was also tied to a similar theft of air conditioner part that was investigated by the Vero Beach Police Department.  Harris and Miner were arrested on those charges as well.

Miner is being held on a combined bond of $52,000.  Harris’ total bond is $45,000.

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