Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco man accused of stealing 11 air conditioners, selling copper wire

HUDSON — When the temperature in his restaurant's kitchen climbed to 89 degrees, George Rouhana noticed cool air wasn't coming from the vents.

He figured the air conditioner was broken. So, without checking the unit, he called a repairman.

The repairman went outside to check it and laughed.

"There's no unit here," he told Rouhana.

A pile of parts and scrap metal was all that remained of the air conditioner, which was bigger than a clothes dryer, behind Rouhana's restaurant, Garden of Eden, on U.S. 19. The compressor was gone, and the unit's copper pipes had been cut away.

That was June 10. Rouhana called authorities but he didn't hear about it again until Tuesday, when the Pasco County Sheriff's Office announced deputies had arrested Michael Crosby.

Crosby, 53, is accused of stealing at least 11 air conditioners at businesses along U.S. 19 in Hudson since May 14. He's charged with grand theft for, they say, stealing copper from Rouhana's air conditioner, and seven other counts of grand theft and five counts of dealing in stolen property.

Arrest reports from the Sheriff's Office said Crosby was able to sell the stolen copper at Hudson County Recycling on Hicks Road.

Crosby was being held in the Land O' Lakes jail Tuesday in lieu of $72,000 bail.

It's good news deputies arrested the person they think destroyed his air conditioner, Rouhana said, but it's cold comfort.

He still needs to replace the unit and surround it with a protective cage.

"I have to pay the price now," he said.

Pasco man accused of stealing 11 air conditioners, selling copper wire 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues


    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  2. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  3. Hudson man, 19, killed by hit-and-run driver while walking in street, FHP says


    A 19-year-old Hudson man walking in the street Friday night was struck and killed by a pickup truck that fled the scene, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Road Ranger hurt after truck catches fire in crash at I-275, Busch


    TAMPA — A Road Ranger was seriously injured when a drunk driver ran into the back of his truck on Interstate 275 and both vehicles burst into flame, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    Brian Nelson Barrett, 42, of Wimauma, was headed north on I-275 in his Road Ranger truck Saturday morning 10/21/17 when a car hit him from behind, causing both vehicles to erupt in flames.
  5. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight