Sheriff: Theft suspect arrested after deputies use GPS to track him to crime scene

MANATEE -- A 26-year-old man wearing a court-ordered GPS tracking device and another suspect were arrested today on charges they stole coils from two industrial air conditioners, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

A witness about 12:45 p.m. saw Wayne W. Gillis, 28, and James L. Fowler, 26, steal the items from a location in the 1900 block of 72nd Drive East, according to a news release. The witness obtained a tag number from a truck owned by Gillis and called authorities.

Deputies tracked the vehicle to a residence in the 500 block of 59th Avenue Terrace West, where they found the truck and saw the suspects moving items to the back yard. Inside the truck were two large air-conditioning coils folded up along with copper piping.

"Fowler was wearing a court-ordered GPS tracking device and his records show him as the victim location at the time of the offense," the release states.

Fowler and Gillis were both arrested on charges of grand theft.

Gillis was released after posting $7,500 bond, while Gillis remained in jail Tuesday on an identical bond.