FLORENCE, Ariz. – The Pinal County sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a Coolidge man tied to at least two thefts involving air conditioning units.
On August 4, 2012, a PCSO deputy responded to a home in the 12000 block of N Clemans Road, Coolidge, after the home owner reported someone had stolen her newly installed air conditioning unit.
According to the home owner, she purchased the home at public auction and was not living at the residence when the A/C unit was installed as part of a remodeling project.
The deputy could see vehicle tire impressions and two sets of shoe prints leading from the platform where the unit was removed using a wheel cart.
Later that day, the deputy witnessed a blue, Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by James Lewis, 45, of Coolidge, commit several moving violations. Knowing Mr. Lewis’ license had been suspended from a previous contact earlier in the year, the deputy initiated a traffic stop.
The deputy noticed an air condition condenser in the back of Lewis’ truck, along with various cans of Freon. Lewis told the deputy he works on air conditioning units for side money and gave the name of a local woman who recently hired him for work.
|Location of the A/C theft reported on Aug. 4th, 2012|
The deputy advised Lewis of the thefts to which Lewis denied any knowledge or involvement.
Lewis was arrested for driving on a suspended license and the vehicle, which belonged to his mother, was towed.
On August 5, 2012, the deputy made contact with the woman Lewis gave as the person who recently hired him for A/C work.
|Stolen A/C unit pictured after it was installed at the rental property.|
The woman identified Lewis as the man who she hired and paid $1,150 to install an A/C unit on Aug. 2nd at a rental property she owns.
An examination of the serial number on the A/C condenser at the rental property matched the unit reported stolen the previous day.
The stolen A/C unit was recovered and returned to the victim. Attempts to locate James Lewis for questioning regarding the theft have been unsuccessful.
Due to the circumstances surrounding the theft, a search warrant for the truck was obtained and executed on Aug. 12th, while the vehicle was still impounded. The search identified the condenser unit found in the back of the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop was also reported stolen on August 5th.
|Truck Lewis was driving pictured with the stolen condenser unit during the traffic stop on August 4th.|
Anyone with information on where Lewis may be, please call the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office at (520) 866-5111.
Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “This case is a prime example of the great work our patrol deputies do each day. The thorough investigation completed by the deputy has identified at least two victims and there likely may be more. I encourage anyone who recently hired Mr. Lewis for A/C work, or may know where he is, to come forward as soon as possible.”