published Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

2 men charged with stealing A/C unit from tornado-damaged home

Two men will be cooling their heels in the Bradley County Jail after being charged Monday with stealing a window air conditioner from a home hit by April tornados, authorities said.

Jeff Blair, 49, and Jerry Jones, 44, both of Northeast Eighth Street in Cleveland, were taken into custody on charges of theft under $500 and not wearing a seat belt, said Bradley County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bob Gault.

Blair was also charged with driving on a suspended license and not having insurance on the vehicle, Gault said.

On Monday morning, a call to the sheriff’s office reported that two men were seen loading an air conditioning unit into the back of a red pickup truck in the 2900 block of Eastview Terrace, Gault said.

Deputies spotted a truck on Inman Street matching the vehicle description and found a window air conditioner in the truck’s bed, he said. It was later identified as the one that had been stolen, Gault said, and was returned to the owner.

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