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Police arrest man accused of stealing air conditioner and copper parts

Claude Joseph Hartman Jr. was arraigned on three felony counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny

September 09, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Hartman
Hartman

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 22-year-old man accused of stealing an air conditioner and copper parts from other air conditioners in the Martinsburg area was arrested Friday, according to charging  documents.

Claude Joseph Hartman Jr., aka "CJ," was arraigned Friday afternoon by Berkeley County Magistrate Sandra L. Miller on three felony counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny, the court documents said.

Hartman, who was being held in Eastern Regional Jail on a $40,000 bond Friday evening, was identified from surveillance video and photographs, according to court documents and jail records.

Police were also assisted by an anonymous tip received through Berkeley County Crime Solvers, the documents said.

Hartman, who lives at 318 S. Kentucky Ave. in Martinsburg, is accused of stealing an air conditioner valued at $2,000 from a Little League concession stand in Oatesdale Park on Aug. 16 and attempting to steal another air conditioner there on Sept. 1, the documents said.

The attempted theft in the park at 130 Tavern Road occurred on the same day that the defendant allegedly took a copper condenser coil from an air conditioner at Ebenezer Baptist Church at 615 W. Martin St., the documents said.

Compressor units, along with copper coils also were allegedly taken by Hartman from an air conditioner at a business office at 490 Williamsport Pike on Sept. 1, the documents said.

Video-surveillance equipment at the business office recorded images of the defendant dismantling the air conditioner, according to the court  documents. The video also captured images of tattoos on the defendant, including a Superman logo and "praying hands."

A search of Hartman's residence led to the discovery of a backpack that contained a bag of brass and other metal fittings for hoses and metal piping, the documents said.

Police also obtained documentation indicating the defendant sold condensers for scrap on Aug. 16 at Ernie's Recycling Center and Salvage Yard, according to court documents.

When questioned by police, Hartman denied any involvement in the  crimes and said the backpack did not belong to him, the documents said.

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