(02/14/13) - Police say he hit more than 20 Mid-Michigan business in Saginaw and Genesee Counties, but now, he is behind bars.
The thief had an unusual target - big batteries that are worth big money
The 22 businesses have estimated losses at $30,000, and the man accused of the crimes was arrested after he had reported to his parole officer.
Buena Vista Township police officers arrested 53-year-old John Jerrolds of Burton outside of the Genesee County Probation Office. Jerrolds is charged with larceny of property worth more than $20,000 and possessing burglars tools. He's accused of stealing semi-truck batteries.
Matt Doyle, of Kerry Transport in Buena Vista Township, has had 48 batteries stolen since May. The company stepped up security to help catch the thief.
"One of the cameras, we have a license plate reader, and every time he came in, it was different, but it was the same truck," Doyle said.
Investigators caught a break in December during a traffic stop. Jerrolds had bolt cutters on him, and the investigation led to Wednesday's arrest.
L & B Transport also had batteries stolen.
"The impact is very severe. First of all, we had 68 batteries that we counted that were stolen at a total cost of what we are estimating to be $13,000," said Tony Lander, of L and B Transport.
Lander says the company could count on a theft of batteries every six weeks or so.
"It doesn't count the down time, the loss of wages for the driver, because they can't make his schedules. It also impacts the service commitments that we have with our customers," Lander said.
Police believe Jerrolds sold most of the batteries to scrap yards. The companies don't expect to get them back.
"That's right off the bottom line," Doyle said.
But now, they're just relieved the battery thefts have stopped.
"Get him off the streets so we can get back to work and continue business as normal, as it should be," Lander said.
Jerrolds had been out of prison since 2010. He served time for breaking and entering.
He's now being held without bond.
ABC12 Main Station