SMITHS STATION, AL (WSFA) - The Lee County Sheriff's Office has arrested two suspects for the theft and property damage of several air conditioning in the small community of Smiths Station.
Dakota Levi Burch, 19, and a seventeen (17) year old male, both of Smiths Station, have each been arrested and charged with one count of Theft of Property in the First Degree.
Burch is currently being held in the Lee County Detention Facility and the male juvenile offender has been arrested and released into the custody of his parents.
Investigators were able to locate evidence that has linked both of these individuals to these crimes which has resulted in their arrest.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office had been investigating reported thefts and/or guttings of more than 26 air conditioner condenser units.
Investigators say all of the houses or apartments that were targeted have been vacant. One apartment complex saw four units stolen or damaged, only to have the suspects return weeks later to steal ten more units.
Police say the offenders were gutting the units and selling the copper, aluminum, and metal as scrap. The replacement cost of these units normally range from $3,000 to $4,000. The Smiths Station thefts will cost the victims more than $91,000.