BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - Hernado County sheriff's deputies arrested two Brooksville men Saturday in connection with a rash of air conditioner thefts.
26-year-old John Terry and 21-year-old Daniel Rogers have been charged with 12 counts of grand theft and one count of commercial burglary.
Detectives were working undercover at several businesses in the county, and observed the men approaching Penthouse Cleaners on Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville wearing masks and gloves just after 2 a.m.
They fled the scene after they were approached by Detective John Drewal.
Terry was arrested after attempting to flee in a vehicle. Rogers was arrested at his home a short time later.
The suspects have been linked to twelve recent air conditioner thefts at businesses since last November, including six churches.
They targeted air conditioner components for copper and aluminum.
"During this investigation, we used both high and low tech methods to identify and apprehend these thieves," said Sheriff Al Nienhuis. "My detectives have worked hard to get us to this point. Fortunately, since we still have many of these methods in place, anyone trying to take the place of these criminals will likely face the same consequences. Since these were such prolific thieves, my detectives and their supervisors intend to work especially close with the State Attorney's Office to ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Lastly, we especially appreciate all the help we receive from the metal recycle businesses in the entire Tampa Bay area. Without their cooperation and assistance, these cases would be much more difficult to prosecute."
Officials say the investigation continues and more charges are expected.
The men are being held at the Hernando County Detention Center with a bond of $122,000.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.