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. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL


    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  2. Reporter says Republican candidate in Montana body-slammed him (w/video)


    HELENA, Mont. — Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Authorities said late Wednesday that Greg Gianforte has been cited for misdemeanor assault over incident with …

    Greg Gianforte, right, receives congratulations from a supporter in Helena, Mont., in March. [Associated Press]
  3. Culpepper falls just short on 'Survivor' finale

    Human Interest

    In the end, Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper fell just short, and the ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer lost Survivor: Game Changers and the $1 million prize to Sarah Lacina, a police officer from Iowa.

  4. Families dispute claims that slain Tampa Palms roommates shared neo-Nazi beliefs


    TAMPA — Andrew Oneschuk never liked making small talk on the phone, his father said, but the last time the two spoke, something seemed off.

    Andrew Oneschuk and Jeremy Himmelman lived in a Tampa Palms apartment with Devon Arthurs and Brandon Russell. Oneschuk and Himmelman reportedly planned to move out.
  5. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment