Perry Clark Bower, 54, the former owner of Electric Medic, turned himself in to authorities Thursday afternoon. He is charged with theft and two counts of theft of utilities, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.
Between July 11 and Monday, Bower returned to La Petite Plaza on Washington Road where he once operated his business and took a power meter from the vacant building, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report. The property manager discovered and reported the theft Monday.
The incident was caught on video surveillance cameras, which showed a man taking the meter. Morris said Bower disabled the tracking device on the meter and installed it at his Martinez home, which didn’t have electricity. Deputies went to Bower’s home Tuesday, confiscated the meter and, because of a medical issue, gave him until 5 p.m. Thursday to surrender to authorities.
Later Tuesday night, a neighbor notified police that Bower’s residence had power, so deputies returned. They found he’d rigged the power meter on his home to work with a pair of scissors, Morris said.
Bower was arrested four times between Jan. 16 and Feb. 4 and faces more than 70 counts of theft by deception, Morris said, after authorities received about 100 complaints about Bower and his business. People said they would leave a television for repair with a deposit or Bower would go to their homes and repair or collect electronics and then they couldn’t reach Bower by phone; while others said he didn’t repair their electronics or return them.
Since then the business was closed and Bower was evicted in February for not paying rent for his business location, where he left about 1,000 pieces of electronics, mostly televisions.
Bower was arrested again in May after two people filed reports to the sheriff’s office that he’d pulled a similar scam under a different business name – G & H Electronics. Morris said that G & H had been closed for more than a year and the owner was not aware Bower was using the name.
Morris said residents in other nearby jurisdictions have also made similar complaints against Bower and were told to file reports with the appropriate authorities. Bower’s earlier bond condition was that he not engage in a television repair business. He is still awaiting trial on the charges. He’s being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond.