Man charged in Palm Coast solar panel thefts

By News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 25 2014 01:04:34 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2014 01:11:01 PM EDT
Hunter Watson

Flagler County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Hunter Watson

PALM COAST, Fla. -

Flagler County detectives have been investigating the theft of stolen solar panels from the city of Palm Coast since January and they've arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the thefts.

The solar panels, which are used to operate the irrigation systems throughout Palm Coast, were reported missing in January.

The investigation led detectives to a home on South Daytona Avenue in Flagler Beach. Detectives said they spoke with the resident, Hunter Watson, regarding numerous items that were seen in his yard and recognized by detectives as stolen property.

A search warrant was obtained and detectives said they recovered about a dozen 6-foot solar panels. They said they also found an EZ-GO golf cart that had been reported stolen from a fenced-in construction site on Brookhaven Drive in Palm Coast, along with two large spools of wire.

Due to the amount of items that were recovered, a tow truck had to be brought in to transport the property to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office.

"Approximately 95 percent of the property, which was taken from the city of Palm Coast, has been recovered," Sheriff James Manfre said.

Watson was arrested and charged with two counts of grand theft, burglary and trespass on a construction site. Manfre said additional charges are likely.

Watson was booked into the Flagler County Detention Facility on $40,000 bond.

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