On Friday, April 13, 2012, an Obrien man was arrested by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for stealing residential air conditioner units. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been investigating several air conditioner thefts from residences in central Columbia County. Four of the thefts were similar in nature and deputies believed that the same suspect was committing the thefts.
Concerned citizens worked closely with the Sheriff’s Office to identify the suspects responsible for these thefts. Based on information obtained from citizens, Lt. Pete Spurlock was able to find a location where the suspect(s) may be. Lt. Spurlock arrived at the location and discovered the suspect actively dismantling an air conditioner unit. Detective Jimmy Watson assisted in the investigation and learned that the suspect had been selling the stolen air conditioner parts to local secondary metals recyclers. Detective Watson has been able to determine that the suspect had stolen four air conditioning units from local residences.
The suspect, Matthew Steven Thomas, was arrested without incident at approximately 5:00 p.m. and booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies worked closely with Detectives and were able to put an end to Mr. Thomas’s illegal activities. The willingness of our citizens to assist and partner with the Sheriff’s Office was a significant factor in bringing this case to a successful closure.
Matthew Steven Thomas, 8/26/1979
24454 C.R. 49, Obrien, FL
Charges: Grand Theft (4 counts), Burglary (4 counts), Dealing in Stolen Property (Organized)