Man arrested in connection to cooler thefts

Published: Jul. 7, 2016 at 8:42 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2016 at 11:27 AM EDT
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OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - A man has been arrested in connection to a rash of YETI Cooler thefts over the Fourth of July Weekend.

William M. Bowers has been charged with two counts of breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and three counts of misdemeanor larceny. He is currently being detained in the Brunswick County Detention Facility under a $15,000 bond.

According to officials, Bowers was pulled over by Ocean Isle Beach police on July 6 and placed under arrest. The case is still under investigation, and more charges are pending.

The total cost of the coolers Bowers took is about $1,200.

According to officials, several YETI coolers were stolen off boats, trucks and from houses between July 2 and July 5 in Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, and Holden Beach.

"People think oh it's just coolers, unless you've gone out and purchased one of these coolers, you know, monetarily it starts to add up," said Ken Bellamy, Police Chief in Ocean Isle.

Jefferey Williamson, a boat captain, said the same problem popped up last summer.

"They had a garage full of Yeti coolers around the same time," he said.

He added that it's all a matter of supply and demand.

"The resale market is outstanding, everyone's looking for a cheap Yeti," Bellamy said.

Bellamy said its a small community, so he's not surprised investigators were able to find Bowers.

"So he knew exactly where to go, exactly what boats to hit, so it had to be somebody local and by the coverage it was a just a matter of time before somebody recognized him," Bellamy added.

Detectives with the OIBPD is warning the community that these coolers are still being stolen and should be locked away.

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