ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Angelina County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 44-year-old man on Tuesday for allegedly stealing an air conditioner from a church parsonage on Highway 147 in Zavalla back in May and selling it to a man in Houston.
Randy Earl Crawford, of Zavalla, was booked into the Angelina county jail on a state-jail felony charge of theft between $1,500 and $20,000. He posted a $2,000 bail and was released later that day.
According to the arrest affidavit, the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office contacted an investigator with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office and gave them some information about a suspect that allegedly stolen air conditioner units from throughout Angelina and San Augustine counties. The suspect was identified as Crawford.
When the ACSO investigator learned that Crawford had outstanding warrant with the Lufkin Police Department, they went to his residence in Zavalla to serve the warrant. Upon arriving at the home, the ACSO investigator went to talk to Crawford near a pickup and noticed three AC condenser units in the bed of the truck, the affidavit stated. The units were allegedly partially covered by a blue tarp.
In addition, a hand saw and a pair of cotton gardening gloves were in plain view, the affidavit stated. The ACSO investigator also noticed that the copper tubing and wiring on the units had been cut, which indicated they could have been illegally obtained, the affidavit stated.
The ACSO investigator arrested Crawford for the outstanding warrant, and he was transported to the Angelina County Jail.
Crawford allegedly claimed he bought one of the condenser units from a man in Houston. However, when investigators called the man that Crawford named, the individual said he had never bought anything from Crawford but had bought an air conditioner unit from him, the affidavit stated.
The ACSO investigator drove to Houston and talked to the man and learned that the AC unit in question matched the brand, model, and serial number of a unit that had been stolen from the Shady Chapel Parsonage on Highway 147, according to the affidavit.
The man allegedly positively identified Crawford in a photo lineup, and the AC unit was returned to its rightful owner.