BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County's first crime wave of the new year has, apparently, come to an end.
Someone in recent weeks has broken into dozens of air-conditioning units throughout the county and stolen copper and aluminum tubing. Two men were arrested over the weekend in connection with the crimes.
Daniel Rogers, 21, and John Terry, 26, have each been charged with a dozen counts of grand theft, among other charges. Terry's bail was set at $137,500; Rogers' was set at $138,500.
Early Saturday, an undercover detective saw Rogers and Terry, wearing masks and gloves, as they approached Penthouse Cleaners on Cortez Boulevard, west of Brooksville, reports say. When the detective walked up to the men and identified himself, they fled.
Soon afterward, another deputy caught Terry. The suspect later identified Rogers as his co-conspirator.
Both men admitted to the crimes, reports say. The suspects told investigators they worked at night and targeted churches, a Veterans of Foreign Wars post, commercial businesses and commercial plazas. They disassembled the air-conditioning units to remove metal components that they later intended to sell.
Rogers, of 16125 Fort Myers St., south of Brooksville, has little criminal history in Hernando other than a marijuana charge and numerous traffic citations. Terry, of 1223 Olmes Road, Brooksville, has been arrested several times and charged with an array of crimes. His convictions in recent years include traffic and drug offenses.
"My detectives have worked hard to get us to this point," said Sheriff Al Nienhuis. "Since these were such prolific thieves, my detectives and their supervisors intend to work especially close with the State Attorney's Office to ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."