The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is searching for a Coolidge man in connection with the thefts of at least two air conditioning units.
James Lewis, 45, has not been seen or heard from since he was pulled over Aug. 4 after a deputy saw him commit several moving violations. The deputy noticed an air condition condenser in the back of Lewis' truck, along with various cans of freon, PCSO said.
Lewis told the deputy he worked on air conditioning units to make some side money and gave the name of a local woman who recently hired him for work, sheriff's investigators said.
Earlier in the day, a homeowner reported someone had stolen her newly installed air conditioning unit from a home she had purchased at a public auction. The woman wasn't living in the home in the 12000 block of North Clemans Road in Coolidge when the unit was installed as part of a remodeling project, PCSO said.
The deputy could see vehicle tire impressions and two sets of shoeprints leading from the platform where the unit was removed using a wheel cart, sheriff's investigators said.
The deputy advised Lewis of the thefts and the man denied any knowledge or involvement, PCSO said.
Lewis was arrested on charges of driving on a suspended license and the vehicle, which belonged to his mother, was towed.
The next day, the deputy contacted the woman Lewis gave as the person who recently hired him for air conditioning work.
The woman identified Lewis as the man whom she hired and paid $1,150 to install an AC unit on Aug. 2 at a rental property she owns, PCSO said.
An examination of the serial number on the AC condenser at the rental property matched the unit reported stolen the previous day, sheriff's deputies said. The stolen AC unit was recovered and returned to the victim.
Deputies are attempting to locate Lewis for questioning.
A search warrant for the truck was obtained and executed on Aug. 12, 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 Aug. 5, PCSO said.
People with any information on the whereabouts of Lewis are asked to call the Pinal County Sheriff's Office at 520-866-5111.
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Thursday, May 16 2013 2:06 PM EDT2013-05-16 18:06:52 GMT
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