San Angelo man charged after water heater stolen from former employer

SAN ANGELO — A former employee of a San Angelo contracting company has been charged after tankless water heaters were listed for sale online, according to court documents released Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

On January 30, 2022, police met with employees of a contracting company regarding a reported burglary in the 5700 block of Melrose Avenue. Surveillance video showed a white Chevrolet Tahoe in an apartment, which was used as storage for company equipment, earlier in the morning, records show.

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A rear window of the unit had been smashed and company property had been seized. Employees said only people who had worked for the company would know this unit was used for storage, according to an arrest affidavit.

Another employee recognized the Chevrolet as the one used by two recently terminated former employees. One of the former employees told investigators he sold the Chevrolet to the other former co-worker in August 2021, records show.

A company official showed investigators screenshots of the ex-employee listing Marey Eco180 tankless water heaters on Facebook Marketplace. The official said these heaters are not sold locally and match those stolen from the unit, according to the affidavit.

Steven Ward Howe, 53, was arrested Feb. 10 on suspicion of building burglary, possession of drug paraphernalia and multiple warrants. He remained in the Tom Green County Detention Center in lieu of $662 bail as of 9 a.m. Friday, April 15, online jail records show.

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An indictment, filed in March, charges him with burglary of a building. This is a second degree felony punishable by 2 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. A court date has been tentatively scheduled for the end of May, according to online court records.

Alana Edgin is a reporter who covers crime and the courts in West Texas. Send him a topical tip at [email protected].