Arrests in thefts of air-conditioning units
By Frank Abderholden email@example.com @abderholden January 16, 2014 7:50PM
Updated: February 18, 2014 6:24AM
A Wildwood couple are facing charges after allegedly stealing 68 commercial air-conditioning units over a nearly three-month period last year in several police jurisdictions. The units are considered valuable scrap because they contain copper.
Police from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Grayslake, Gurnee and Round Lake police departments teamed up to stop the pair, identified as Kevin Blottiaux, 36, and Ricki Lucas, 37, both of the 3200 block of Rolling Hills Road.
Police had a description of a vehicle seen near one of the thefts, which occurred between Oct. 1 and Dec. 17, 2013, and then they developed information using data from area recycling businesses throughout the county on the couple. On Jan. 9, the pair were seen in a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle. They were stopped by a sheriff’s deputy.
On Jan. 14, the pair were caught stealing a commercial unit from the Waukegan Glass Co. at 1200 Estes Ave., Gurnee, by officers from all the jurisdictions involved. They said the two were cooperative and gave full confessions clearing the 68 cases where approximately $100,000 of AC units were stolen.
Lucas and Blottiaux were charged with 12 counts of theft and two counts of theft for the thefts occurring in the sheriff’s jurisdiction. Grayslake charged them with five counts of theft, varying from Class 1 felonies to Class 3 felonies.
In Gurnee, they face five counts of theft of varying degree and a theft over (Class 1 felony) for an AC unit stolen from a Gurnee church. Round Lake had one count of theft for an incident in its jurisdiction.
Blottiaux’s bond was set at $100,000 and he is scheduled to appear in Lake County Circuit Court Feb. 5 along with Lucas, whose bond was set at $50,000.