Chico Police Department
11/16/13: Grand Theft, Possession Burglary Tools, Controlled Substance Arrest
Suspect: John Timothy McCrary (46 of Chico).
Previous Incidents: Since 2012 the Chico Police Department has been fielding calls of thefts of copper from air conditioning units around the Chico area. In the past year there have been well over 200 reported thefts. The suspects typically break open the panels of the air conditioning units and then rip out the copper contained inside so it can be sold for scrap. This usually results in the destruction of the unit requiring replacement. Typical replacement for a residential unit can be anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000
while large commercial units can be over $25,000. The typical scrap value of the copper in these air conditioning units ranges from $50 to $200 depending on the size of the unit.
Narrative: On 11/16/2013 at about 2350 hrs. The Chico Police Department received a tamper alarm from an air conditioning unit at 40 Philadelphia Drive in Chico. Officer Jamie Rouland responded to the area and arrived at scene at about 0002 hrs. As Officer Rouland was walking toward the back of the building where the air conditioner was located he encountered a subject dressed all in black walking from the area. That subject was later identified as John McCrary. McCrary was detained. After checking the area Officer Rouland found that the air conditioning unit that was alarmed had been vandalized. The back panel had been removed and damaged, and it appeared as if someone had been preparing to steal the copper from the air conditioning unit. McCrary was found to be in possession of burglary tools and methamphetamine. McCrary was arrested for the possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance, and vandalism. He was transported to the Chico Police Department.
Chico P.D. Detectives responded to conduct a follow up investigation into the incident. During this investigation McCrary was tied to 149 air conditioning unit theft and vandalism calls many of which had multiple air conditioning units damaged or stolen. McCrary was booked into Butte County Jail on the
above listed charges.