A Booneville man is facing one count of theft of property and is expected to face as many as six more in cases involving the thefts of air conditioning units and or parts from homes for sale or rent.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Ronnie Toliver became a suspect after it was discovered he had made 14 sales of central air unit parts in January totaling over $1,800.
Booneville Police Chief Al Brown said last week Toliver admitted involvement at six locations in the city of Booneville and another in Logan County.
"What he was doing was he would go to places where there were ‘house for sale’ or ‘house for rent’ signs and he would cut the power, take the copper out of the unit and sell it for scrap in Van Buren," said Brown.
Brown said on some instances the machine would be taken apart at the scene but in most Toliver took the entire unit.
The investigation began when the owner of a rent home reported the theft of a heat and air unit at a home they were attempting to sell.
Toliver and a female were identified as having been at the home driving a white vehicle on Jan. 25 and on Jan. 30 the unit was gone.
BPD investigators discovered not only was the unit missing from that home, but also from a neighboring home, which was also listed for sale. A witness reported seeing a white car hauling a heat and air unit from the area.
Investigators then checked 35 locations within the city and discovered six had been victims, with a majority of the owners being unaware of the thefts.
The warrant for Toliver’s arrest contains only the initial reported theft, Brown said, because it was being processed before Toliver apparently confessed involvement in other thefts.
The theft charges against Toliver is a Class D felony punishable upon conviction by up to six years in prison and or a fine of up to $10,000.