Air conditioner unit theft becoming a theme in New Hanover County


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– Businesses at Emerald Square off of Wrightsville Ave. are the latest victims of what police are calling “a rash of air conditioner unit thefts”.

Two men went to the business park at about 2 a.m. Monday morning and stole four air conditioning units.

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Shortly after taking the units the suspects were driving north on 23rd Street when Wilmington Police say they pulled them over for speeding.

Police noticed the air conditioning units in the back of the truck and questioned Lawrence Gaines Junior and James Allen Andrews.

Police say one of the men was wearing a shirt of a local heating and air company and claimed the units were theirs. Police checked with that company and they said they did not know the men.

“If you’re going to get pulled over with A/C units at least have your license and not speed,” Ward hair Stylist Lesley Padgett said. “They got pulled over and got searched, and come to find out it’s the exact match of everybody’s units.”

Police say both the men will be charged with felony larceny and possession of stolen goods as early as Thursday.

Coastal Reality claims that they have had about 30 or so air conditioning units stolen from their properties recently as well.

As of now, those thefts have not been linked to Gaines or Andrews.