TAMPA — Police arrested a 25-year-old man they said stole tens of thousands of dollars in metal parts from air conditioners around the city.
Joshua Damien Poe of 1701 Skipper Road was arrested at his home Thursday afternoon and charged in numerous cases of criminal mischief, dealing in stolen property, grand theft and defrauding a secondary metal recycler.
Deputies said the thefts cost 23 businesses a total of $500,000. Poe was being held in lieu of $210,000 bail on a total of 61 charges.
Poe's method in each instance was much the same, deputies said. First, he would dismantle the air conditioning units, then remove the internal parts for copper scrapping, deputies said. He then sold the copper at recycling centers, deputies said.
He damaged several buildings when he pulled out the units, deputies said.