Over $1 million in damages from copper thefts? Michael Evans, others busted for alleged scheme

The still-bad economy has inspired a number of small-time metal thieves -- like Richard Goodface and Duane Brown, who allegedly swiped Denver storm grates in October. But according to the Colorado Springs Police Department, they're pikers in comparison with several suspects accused of swiping copper and aluminum from air conditioners and doing $1 million-plus in damages.

Beneath a Colorado Springs Police Department release, find photos of all those arrested, as well as shots of before-and-after shots of air conditioner units, as well as the parts that were presumably putting bread on the table.

Colorado Springs Police Department release

Colorado Springs Police Crime Analyst, Linda Gearhart gathered information which showed a crime pattern of copper thefts that occurred between June and October of 2010 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Thefts included aluminum and copper air conditioner parts and copper wire. At that time there were at least thirty (30) cases with a total loss/damage being in excess of $552,000. During extensive research and continued investigations Sand Creek Detectives learned that the amount of loss/damage was well in excess of 1 million dollars, and the number of cases had grown to between 30 and 50 cases.

Two shopping centers that were hit by the suspects, Rustic Hills South and Rustic Hills North, located near Palmer Park Blvd. and Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs reported loss/damages in excess of $700,000.00

During the three month investigation conducted by the Sand Creek Investigations Unit and led by Detective Jerry Yeager, six suspects were identified, including Michael Evans 33 yoa, Peter Fair 21 yoa, Mario Jones 28 yoa, William Carroll 31 yoa, and Alexander Aber 29 yoa.

The investigation included surveillance during which Carroll and Alexander Aber, were observed stealing copper wire out of street lights on both city and private property. Carroll and Aber were arrested on 11-19-10.

Following the arrest of Carroll and Aber the investigation continued and on 12-08-10, units from the Sand Creek division, as well as detectives from the Sand Creek Division and Stetson Hills Division executed a search warrant at 2713 Carmel Ct in Colorado Springs. During that search Detectives recovered evidence connecting all five suspects to the string of stolen / damaged Commercial air conditioners. Three additional suspects (Evans, Fair, and Jones) were taken into custody, and booked into the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center on charges of Felony Theft - over $20,000 and Felony Criminal Mischief -- over $20,000. All arrestees remain incarcerated on $100,000 bond each. One additional suspect remains at large and an arrest warrant is pending.

Additional victims have been identified in El Paso County and Detectives are working with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office to clear those cases as well.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Sean Mueller, John Elway Ponzi-schemer, says he's suicidal, gets 40-year sentence anyway."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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