PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives filed more felony charges on a Punta Gorda man, this time for stealing stolen airplane parts and selling to a Ft. Myers recycling business. Joshua Shane Crider, 31, of 2754 Bailey Avenue, was arrested.
The latest in a string of theft charges was first reported Aug. 6 when a deputy stopped a Ford Explorer at U.S. 17 and I-75 that was pulling a flatbed trailer with what appeared to be aircraft parts. Due to recent scrap metal thefts in the area, the deputy made a traffic stop. Crider said he was going to a scrap yard to sell the items and said he got the parts with permission from the owner of Shell Creek Airport, 39960 Washington Loop Road. A check with the owner revealed he did not give permission to Crider to take any items. The owner said he wanted the parts returned to the airport, which Crider did, and did not wish to pursue charges at that time. Value of the items on the trailer was $5,210.
However, detectives checked lists of area scrap metal dealers and discovered several aircraft type parts had been sold Aug. 2 to All Scrap Recylcing, 2021 Ortiz Avenue in Ft. Myers, also stolen previously from the Shell Creek Airport. Detectives met with the airport owner again and showed him photos of parts stolen valued at $6,237. These items included a propeller, a cowling flap ring, aircraft engine cylinders, and various other stolen metals. This time, the owner said he would pursue charges for both theft cases.
Crider was arrested and taken to the Charlotte County Jail where he remains on no bond; he’s a convicted felon with nine bookings and 26 charges. Detectives filed 14 charges after solving several other theft cases in the Punta Gorda area involving Crider. They included stealing sheet aluminum from a home on Melinda Avenue; three light poles from the Crisis Stabilization Unit, 1700 Education Avenue; several large sheets of steel from a construction site to prevent cave-ins on Jones Loop Road; vehicle batteries, tools, and a radiator from a farm at 5455 Bronco Road; and the two thefts from Shell Creek Airport. Many of the items were located at area recycling businesses.