GODFREY, IL (KMOX)-A sigh of relief in Godfrey, Illinois as Madison County authorities arrest the man they believe took many of the 19 air conditioners that have been stolen from homes and busineses in the village since February.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department says 24-year-old Jacob Fickle was selling the metal from the units to support a heroin habit.
Lt. Kristopher Tharp tells KMOX they have evidence Fickle frequented an Alton area metal recycling facility on a daily basis. They used the sales information from that facility to identify him.
Tharp says when they went to Fickle’s home at 204 Mercury Drive in Godfrey, they found a treasure trove of evidence, “We did find air conditioning components, very large pieces, that were visible and in plain sight in his back yard. Now, his back yard was surrounded by fencing, but again they were easily seen if you were going to look for them.”
Tharp says Fickle claims he acted alone but they’ll continue the investigation to make sure.
Fickle’s charged with ten counts of theft over $500 and one count of possessing a controlled substance, heroin.
Tharp says Fickle is the most prolific air conditioner thief he’s heard of.