PCSO seeks Coolidge man linked to AC thefts

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James Lewis By Jennifer Thomas James Lewis By Jennifer Thomas
Location of the AC theft reported on Aug. 4 By Jennifer Thomas Location of the AC theft reported on Aug. 4 By Jennifer Thomas
Stolen AC unit after it was installed at the rental property By Jennifer Thomas Stolen AC unit after it was installed at the rental property By Jennifer Thomas
Truck that James Lewis was driving with the stolen condenser unit during the traffic stop on Aug. 4 By Jennifer Thomas Truck that James Lewis was driving with the stolen condenser unit during the traffic stop on Aug. 4 By Jennifer Thomas

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- The Pinal County Sheriff's Office is searching for a Coolidge man tied to at least two thefts involving air-conditioning units.

On Aug. 4, a deputy responded to a home in the 12000 block of North Clemans Road in Coolidge after the homeowner reported someone had stolen her newly installed AC unit. The woman said she was not living at the residence when the unit was installed as part of a remodeling project.

The deputy noticed tire tracks and two sets of shoe prints leading from the platform where the unit was removed using a wheel cart, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Later that day, the deputy pulled over James Lewis, 45, for several moving violations and noticed an AC condenser in the back of his pickup truck, along with several cans of Freon. He told the deputy that he works on air-conditioning units for side money and gave the name of a woman who recently hired him.

The deputy told Lewis about the thefts and he denied any knowledge or involvement.

Lewis was arrested for driving on a suspended license and the vehicle, which belonged to his mother, was towed.

The deputy contacted the woman Lewis said recently hired him. She identified Lewis as the man she had paid $1,150 on Aug. 2 to install an AC unit on a rental property she owns. The serial number on the AC condenser at the rental property matched the stolen unit.

The AC unit was returned to the victim.

A search warrant for the truck was executed on Aug. 12 while the vehicle was still impounded. The search identified the condenser unit found during the traffic stop was reported stolen on Aug. 5.

Deputies are attempting to locate Lewis for questioning.

Anyone with information on Lewis' whereabouts is asked to call the Pinal County Sheriff's Office at 520-866-5111.