MADISON COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV) – Authorities say a Godfrey man charged Friday with stealing numerous air conditioners may have planned to sell the units to purchase heroin.
Jacob Fickle, 24, was charged with 10 counts of theft over $500, after deputies reportedly found stolen air conditioner components in the man's back yard.
Authorities say an investigation positively identified the units as ones recently stolen from the Godfrey area.
Police said detectives also found drug paraphernalia and a substance containing what appeared to be heroin at Fickle's residence.
According to investigators, Fickle had frequented an Alton-area metal recycling facility on a daily basis. He reportedly sold materials to the facility matching those found in air conditioners.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday said more than 20 air-conditioning units have been stolen just this calendar year, most in the Godfrey area.
Police say unoccupied homes were the main target, along with businesses that are clearly not open after hours.
Officials said Fickle has previously been arrested for aggravated assault and attempted unlawful use of a weapon, resulting in a conviction in 2007.
Fickle's bond has been set at $100,000.