HUDSON — A 24-year-old man is accused of cracking open dozens of commercial air conditioning units, stealing the coils and copper parts, and selling the materials for scrap.
Authorities believe Robert John Rutherford may have some accomplices, although so far he is the only one charged. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, AC innards went missing in August from the units at Sav-A-Lot, Family Fitness, Long Dental Lab, Salon Essentials and the Bealls Outlet on State Road 52, among other locations. Altogether 35 units were vandalized.
Rutherford, of 9542 Gary St., was arrested Oct. 1 on charges of attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools. Since then deputies have charged him with 24 counts of grand theft, among other charges. He remained Thursday at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $164,163 bail.