An Alton man pleaded guilty this week to stealing air conditioners from several Alton businesses, schools and churches. 57 year old Frank Thomas, Junior, of the 900 block of Harrison Street, entered the plea in Madison County Court to a count of theft and a count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. He was sentenced to four years in jail.
Thomas, and his daughter 20 year old Rashonda Barnes, were arrested in late July and charged following an extensive investigation into air conditioner thefts at the Ursuline Convent, the DCFS office, Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, St. James Baptist Church, College Avenue Presbyterian Church, West and East Elementary and Alton Middle Schools. Police say they identified the pair using video surveillance and records at scrap metal shops where they took the materials. In exchange for the guilty plea, 12 theft charges and a charge of having sex with a family member were dropped. The case against Barnes is pending.