2 Carter County men charged with stealing HVAC units from homes

Published 9:02 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

A pair of Carter County men face felony charges after police say they stole air conditioning units and then sold them.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested Phillip Robert Grant, 40, of 2637 Bob Little Road, Elizabethton, on Tuesday on a warrant charging him with theft of property over $1,000. Also on Tuesday, officers served Grant with a second warrant, this one also charging him with theft of property over $1,000.
On Wednesday, Sheriff’s Department officers arrested Ronnie Wayne Orloff, 41, of 1693 Milligan Highway, Johnson City, on two warrants charging him with theft of property over $1,000.
Charges against the two men stem from an investigation that began in May after a Richard Norris reported to police that two HVAC units had been stolen from a rental home he owns at 79 Sims Hill Road.
“Mr. Orloff became a suspect due to his recent eviction from 79 Sims Hill Road, and Mr. Grant was developed due to his association with Mr. Orloff and his professional expertise as an HVAC installation and repairman,” CCSD Investigator Nick Andes said. Orloff and Grant denied knowing about the theft or what happened to the air conditioning units.
On June 25, the victim contacted police and said he had learned one of his missing HVAC units was at a home on Old Gray Station Road in Johnson City. Officers went to the Johnson City home and found the serial number on the HVAC unit there matched the serial number of the unit stolen from Norris’ home.
The home owner where the HVAC unit was found told police he had purchased it from Orloff and Grant, and had given them $2,000 for what he thought was a new unit.
The investigation then led officers to a home on Jackson Avenue in Elizabethton, where the second missing HVAC unit was found and identified by the serial number.
The owner of that home told police she had paid Grant $600 to fix her unit but he offered to replace her HVAC with a refurbished one.
“(She) then advised that Mr. Grant and his helper loaded up her old unit and took it away without asking her permission,” Andes said.
Both men appeared in General Sessions Court on Wednesday and were arraigned. Judge Keith Bowers set bonds for both men at $2,500 each and set their next court appearance for July 27.
Following their court appearance on Wednesday, both Orloff and Grant posted bond and were released from the Carter County Detention Center.

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