Reports of HVAC units taken from churches and residences during the past few weeks were recorded in Bradley, the city of Cleveland, McMinn, Polk and Meigs counties.
Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division detectives arrested Donald Ray Hyatt, 42, and Cody Lebron Pace, 21.
Both have been charged with four counts each of theft over $1,000.
According to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, additional charges “may be filed in the four other law enforcement jurisdictions” where air units were allegedly taken by the pair.
“Losses in Bradley County alone exceeded $21,000,” Gault said.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy reported last week that an air unit was taken from a church in Englewood.
Meigs County officials said Oasis International Church located on Highway 60 lost seven air units, which were valued over $30,000.
According to Meigs Sheriff’s Office information, a member of the church had taken a picture of a vehicle parked at the church, leading investigators to contact BCSO detectives about the area thefts.
Gault said the metal from the air units was believed to have been sold to metal dealers for “scrap value.”
In Bradley County, HVAC units were taken from Union Grove Church of Christ on July 14, Thompson Springs Baptist Church on July 18, Cedar Springs Baptist Church on July 18 and Covenant Road Baptist Church on July 22.
Detective M2att Jenkins of Cleveland Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division said approximately nine HVAC units were taken from two churches in the city limits of Cleveland.
Investigation in all counties involved is continuing in the matter.