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Man arrested after stealing AC unit to buy TV

Police in Buckeye, US arrested a man they say stole an air-conditioning unit from a vacant home so he could buy a TV for an upcoming prison sentence.

Shane Russell Lindsay, 37, of Buckeye, was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on suspicion of third-degree burglary and trafficking stolen property, Buckeye police spokesman Lt. Jared Griffith said.

According to www.azcentral.com officers discovered the AC unit had been removed from a vacant house near Miller and Beloat roads about 9:30 a.m. after a resident reported a suspicious person at the home, Griffith said. The witness gave police a license plate number and description of the vehicle.

Officers found the vehicle and Lindsay at a metal-recycling company near Fourth Street and Narramore Avenue, he said.

Lindsay admitted to stealing the unit and selling it to the recycling company, Griffith said. Lindsay said he was scheduled to serve two years in prison for unrelated charges and was trying to gather enough money to buy a TV to watch while he was incarcerated.

Police had not confirmed Lindsay’s prison sentence or what his conviction was for, he said.

Griffith said Lindsay has had previous run-ins with Buckeye police. He has been arrested eight times on suspicion of crimes such as weapons possession, unlawful flight from law enforcement, DUI and burglary. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary May 12.

Lindsay was sentenced to a year in prison in 2009 for burglary-related charges and served six months before he was released on parole, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records. AC unit theft is a widespread problem throughout the Valley, Griffith said.

“With the economy and the foreclosures, people have abandoned homes and some of them have remained vacant for an extended time,” he said. “We’re aware of a lot of the homes and we look at them when we patrol the neighborhoods, but it’s really key for people to call us when they see somebody at a home they know to be abandoned and that’s basically what happened here.”

Most AC unit thefts go unnoticed because people don’t take the time to pay attention or recognize there is suspicious activity going on, Griffith said. People need to be more aware of the vacant homes in their neighborhood and who is going in to them, he said.

“You don’t know who the people really are, so if it doesn’t seem right or it seems suspicious to you, call us,” Griffith said.

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