Two charged with stealing AC units from tornado-damaged homes
Posted June 2, 2011 5:12 p.m. EDT
Updated June 2, 2011 6:41 p.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — Two men have been charged with stealing air conditioning units from Fayetteville homes damaged by the April 16 tornadoes, police said Thursday.
The thefts occurred at two unoccupied houses in the 6400 block of Redcliff Road in the Fairfield Farms subdivision.
A neighbor called the police after seeing two men take an AC unit from a home late Wednesday morning. Authorities pulled over a pick-up truck containing two stolen AC units.
Jantzen Maynor, 31, and Malcolm Elleber, 22, both of Red Springs, were arrested at the scene. Police said Maynor had been doing repair work in the neighborhood a few weeks ago.
A general contractor working in the neighborhood said he has seen AC units stolen from other construction sites.
"It's just real prevalent in the area right now. I don't know if it's the economy or if it's the price of metal and cooper in the AC units," contractor Tony Price said.
Police said this was the first such theft in a storm-struck neighborhood. They called it a crime of opportunity and said they're not sure whether the units were taken for the copper or to be resold.
Maynor and Elleber were charged with larceny. Each were being held under a $10,000 bond at the Cumberland County jail.