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Former electric repair store owner arrested again

Posted: July 18, 2014 - 10:15am  |  Updated: July 23, 2014 - 1:46am
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July 17  Valerie Rowell
Valerie Rowell
July 17

The former owner of an electronics repair business charged with scamming customers early this year was arrested again Thursday for stealing electricity and a power meter.

Perry Clark Bower, 54, 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 operated his business, and stole a power meter from a vacant building, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report. The property manager discovered and reported the theft July 14.

The incident was caught on video surveillance cameras, which revealed Bower stealing 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 July 15, confiscated the meter and, because of a medical issue, gave Bower until Thursday at 5 p.m. to turn himself in to authorities.

Later that night, a neighbor notified police that Bower’s residence had power, so deputies returned. They found he had rigged the power meter on his home with a pair of scissors to make it work, 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. Authorities received about 100 complaints about Bower and his business from people stating they would leave a television for repair and a deposit with Bower or he would go to their homes and repair or collect electronics.

Some said they couldn’t reach Bower by phone; others said he didn’t repair their electronics or repay them for his charges.

Since then the business was closed and Bower was evicted in February for not paying rent for his business location in La Petite Plaza, where he left about 1,000 pieces of electronics, mostly televisions. Columbia County marshals had to identify as many owners as possible and return the electronics.

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.

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