LaPorte Man Arrested on Freon Thefts

A LaPorte man was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly stealing Freon from two businesses.

A witness at a business on E. Lincolnway told police that a man was messing around with the air conditioning units outside the building. The witness told police that the suspect was lying between the air conditioning units next to the building. As other employees were arriving to work, the suspect was seen messing with the air units. He was told to leave the property.

Officers found that the Freon lines were damaged and the line caps were all missing.

Officers began looking for the suspect, later identified as 30-year-old Daniel Upchurch, and he was found lying on the ground between two central air units at another business. Police found that the Freon lines were cut and the line caps were removed. A black plastic garbage bag was lying nearby along with a set of pliers.

Upchurch may have been huffing Freon at the time of these incidents.

He was transported to IU Health LaPorte Hospital for treatment and when he was released, he was transported to the LaPorte County Jail where he was booked on two counts of Theft as a Class D felony and two counts of Criminal Mischief as a Class A misdemeanor.

Other reports of Freon thefts were made Monday at the mobile home village, but police were unable to make contact with the alleged suspect in this case. Officers are familiar with the man as he was allegedly involved in previous Freon thefts.