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Man wearing GPS monitor ripped off benefactor, St. Petersburg police say

ST. PETERSBURG — Police say Wesley Michael Wilson didn't exactly make it hard for them to link him to a recent series of metal thefts.

He stole copper piping and the copper coils from the exterior air conditioner of the rental property where he was living for free at 2061 Barcelona Drive S, according to St. Petersburg police.

Wilson also broke into the next-door residence of the person who was letting him live for free, police say, and stole copper piping and copper air conditioning parts from the home. The resident was not identified.

Wilson, 23, was wearing a GPS tracking device around his ankle, part of his sentencing for a previous crime, at the time he's accused of breaking into his benefactor's residence, according to police. The GPS data show that Wilson was at the victim's residence at the time the copper was stolen, police say.

Altogether, Wilson is accused of stealing 66 pounds of copper and brass parts Oct. 27 and 28 and selling it for $213.90 to County Recycling at 5601 Haines Road. He was arrested Thursday.

In 2009 Wilson pleaded guilty to two counts of sale and possession of marijuana, according to court records. He was sentenced to 18 months of drug offender probation, which records show he has violated repeatedly. In August he pleaded guilty to violating his probation and was sentenced to a work-release program, records show.

Wilson faces charges aside from the metal thefts, but those details were not available Saturday.

He was being held at the Pinellas County jail without bail Saturday on five counts of forgery, two counts of grand theft, two counts of dealing in stolen property and deposit with intent to defraud. He entered a plea of not guilty in court Friday.

Man wearing GPS monitor ripped off benefactor, St. Petersburg police say 11/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:52pm]

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