Columbus Police: Two Brothers Responsible for 31 Air Conditioner Thefts
Columbus police say evidence linking two brothers to several thefts of air conditioning units in the northeast part of the city will be presented to a grand jury.
Detective Brian Lacy says charges of receiving stolen property were dropped in the Tatum Brothers' case, pending grand jury consideration.
The two are suspected of stealing 31 air conditioners - many from churches - then cleaning or breaking them down and selling the condensers to scrap yards Detective Lacy says they caused an estimated $200,000 damage. As scrap, each unit brings between 20 dollars and 45 dollars.
Sandy Garrett is office manager at Joyce Iron and Metal where the Tatum brothers allegedly sold the stolen units. She says today's high price for scrap metal has changed the business her family started in the 1940's.
Columbus has one of the toughest ordinances in the state covering sales of scrap metal. Dealers are required to collect from sellers their name, address, thumb print, signature and drivers license numbers.