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Cedar Rapids man accused of stealing solar panels, attempting to sell them on Facebook
CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man faces theft charges after he was caught in possession of stolen solar panels during a traffic stop in Benton County, police said.
Jonathan A. Callanan, 38, was arrested Dec. 18 in Benton County after sheriff’s deputies caught him driving a brown 2013 Chevrolet truck that had been reported stolen from Linn County, according to the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
Deputies said Callanan was towing a black 2014 PJ Trailer that had been reported stolen from Hiawatha.
Callanan was charged with first- and second-degree theft in connection with the stolen truck and trailer.
In the trailer, Cedar Rapids police said, deputies found solar panels that had been reported stolen from Divine Engineering Inc. in Cedar Rapids.
Police said the company had reported that nearly 100 solar panels had been stolen between September 2020 and February. The panels, police said, were taken from pallets behind the business at 5440 Sixth St. SW. An electric engine also was reported stolen.
Twenty-three of the stolen panels were found in the trailer Callanan was towing the night he was arrested in Benton County, police said.
Police said investigators learned Callanan had posted the panels to Facebook Marketplace in an attempt to sell them. Some of the solar panel serial numbers pictured in the Facebook Marketplace post matched those of the panels stolen from Divine Engineering Inc., police said.
A search warrant was executed at his residence on March 31, police said, and the stolen electrical motor from Divine Engineering was recovered, police said.
Callanan faces a charge of second-degree theft for the stolen solar panels and electric engine. Jail records show he already was in custody at Linn County Jail on other charges.
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