Not cool: Two arrested for stealing church ACs

Two Rockdale men were arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing air conditioners from three area churches, two in the Rockdale area, plus one from a Rockdale residence.

Donald Page and David Johnson, both 24, were charged with theft ($1,500 to $20,000) from a non-profit organization and Johnson is also being held on a Bastrop County warrant for marijuana possession.

Chief Deputy Chris White said Monday morning Sheriff David Greene discovered the discarded remains of an air-conditioning unit on the side of US 77 near Cowboy Church.

Contact was made with church officials who said the units had been taken from the church.

Investigator Mike Clore learned from Alliance Recycling in Rockdale that a man had brought in a condenser coil on a unit similar to those stolen that morning. White said that led investigators to Page and Johnson.

White said investigators also believe the pair is responsible for thefts of the air conditioners from the Rising Star Baptist Church at the end of Texas Street and Marak Church northwest of Cameron.

“A fourth air conditioning unit was stolen from a residence just outside of Rockdale on Third Street,” White said.

After an investigation, parts from the stolen air conditioners were recovered from the 1400 block of East Cameron Avenue (US 79) in Rockdale where the men are believed to have stripped the copper and aluminum from the stolen units to sell at recycling centers., according to White.

“Current scrap prices for parts from air conditioners range from between one dollar and $2.50 per pound,” White said.

Johnson was picked up by a state trooper in Bastrop County on the marijuana possession warrant. At presstime he was awaiting arraignment in Milam County for the charges for those charges.

Page’s bond wa s set at $5,000.

“Additional charges are pending against the two men for other thefts that had been reported over the weekend,” White said.

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