The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

November 5, 2007

Attempts to steal air conditioners using bicycle unsuccessful


GREENVILLE — Stealing an air conditioner is not the smartest thing to do, as it is a felony offense and can lead to a conviction.

A local man has learned that stealing an air conditioner using a bicycle is even more ignorant, especially if you steal another air conditioner shortly after unsuccessfully stealing the first and you have a long list of previous convictions for which you had already been sent to state jail.

David Earl Newsome, 35, of Greenville, entered pleas of guilty in the 354th District Court to two counts of theft of property of the value of $1,500 or more, but less than $20,000.

In the first case, Newsome was alleged to have stolen a two-ton air conditioner condenser unit from the Greenville Community Health Service Agency on May 2. An individual with the organization spotted Newsome and another man riding away from the building on Wesley Street on bicycles while carrying the air conditioner. The two men dropped the air conditioner and fled after being confronted by a Greenville Police Department officer.

Newsome was also indicted for stealing another air conditioner on May 14. There was no indication whether Newsome was on two wheels at the time. He was arrested by the Greenville Police Department on May 29.

Both charges are typically filed as state jail felonies, which carry a maximum sentence upon conviction of from 180 days to two years in a state jail and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

But Newsome already had two prior felony convictions listed on the indictments, and prosecutors announced that if the case were going to trial, they intended to show how Newsome had four more convictions — three for possession of a controlled substance and one for burglary — all of which had resulted in state jail sentences.

Therefore, the potential sentence Newsome is facing is from two to 10 years in prison, with an optional fine of up to $10,000, for each case.

Following Newsome’s pleas, Judge Richard A. Beacom ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 13.