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Second man charged with stealing copper coils from Cape church

By Staff | Aug 19, 2010

A second man has been charged in connection to the theft of multiple copper coils from the air conditioning units at a Cape Coral church.
Matthew Shaw Winchester, 28, of 576 Leopard Lane, North Fort Myers, was arrested and charged Wednesday with one count each of larceny grand theft $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, deal in stolen property and property damage criminal mischief to a church, synagogue, mosque or religious article.
He is being held at the Lee County Jail on no bond for one count of failure to appear for driving while license suspended, according to jail booking records.
On Monday, Richard Terry Evans was arrested and charged in connection to the same incident after he voluntarily went to the Cape police headquarters and reportedly confessed in the crimes. Evans, 21, of 309 S.E. First St., is facing the same three charges as Richard.
He had been released from jail on $8,000 bond as of Thursday, according to records. A phone message seeking comment was not immediately returned.
On Friday, police responded to a theft report at Christ Lutheran Church, at 2911 Del Prado Blvd., S. Church staff discovered that several of the school’s air conditioning unit coils were missing. Five of the eight units were missing the copper coils, reported Connie Barron, spokeswoman for the Cape police.
The cost to repair and replace the coils is estimated at about $20,000.
According to Barron, Cape detectives contacted a local scrap yard to find out if any air conditioning coil had been sold for scrap. They determined that Evans and Winchester stole the church coils, dismantled them and cut them up for scrap. They sold the scrap coils to a business for more than $300.
Winchester turned himself in Wednesday at the Cape police headquarters.
He and Evans have court dates set for Sept. 20.