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Child, wife were lookouts as man stole copper, supplies from Athens middle school, cops say

A couple accused of stealing more than $65,000 worth of property from an Athens middle school are also tied to copper thefts, according to a police report obtained by AJC.com. 

Authorities allege Eric Aguilar and Sierra Yuhas took their daughter with them during the thefts, having her serve as a lookout. 

Arrest warrants were issued for the couple, both 28, Thursday in connection with the thefts at W.E. Coile Middle School, Athens-Clarke County police said in a Facebook post. 

RELATED: Thieves steal $30,000 in supplies from Athens middle school

“There is evidence that these two were directly involved in taking over $65,000 worth of property from the school, including 60 iPads, an ice maker, band (and) orchestra instruments, copper wiring, and even a meat slicer from the cafeteria,” according to the post.

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According to police, Aguilar worked for a contractor at the school while it was being renovated.

“He worked for the electrical company but was always known as an untrustworthy character,” Athens-Clarke County police Officer Michael Carroll wrote in a July 13 report. 

Another contractor alerted police that copper wire recently installed in the school was missing. 

Carroll said Aguilar was spotted that night on school property with Yuhas and their child, who were serving as lookouts while Aguilar stole items from the school. 

Police said Yuhas sold the copper wire online, and they found more than 20 entries on Leads Online, a site that aids police in solving investigations, related to the sales.  

Police believe Yuhas sold the wire to keep Aguilar’s name “off the books.” 

The duo are also accused of stealing equipment from the school’s gymnasium. 

“Most of the items were covered by insurance, so we were able to start the school year with everything the students needed,” Clarke County School District spokeswoman Mary Wickwire told AJC.com.

Police said two iPads were recovered July 18 during a search at a location in Oglethorpe County, according to the post. Authorities searched the home after someone who had purchased one of the stolen iPads gave police the address of where it was bought. 

Authorities also recovered the ice machine, assorted school supplies and a few band instruments.

The couple faces multiple counts of felony theft by taking. Aguilar also faces misdemeanor theft by taking and theft by deception charges. 

Anyone with further information is asked to call Athens-Clarke County police Det. Nathaniel Franco at 706-353-4218, ext. 147. 

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