GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - A Gaston County man is accused of stealing $82,000 worth of industrial batteries from cell phone towers throughout the region.

Joshua Evans faces dozens of criminal charges after Gaston County Police said he stole more than 100 batteries from 15 towers over the past few months.

The batteries are critical fail-safe devices that keep a cell tower running in the event of a power outage due to severe weather.

Evans' wife, Goldie Evans, was also charged in the case for possession of stolen property.

Roger Laughridge has a workshop next to one of the targeted cell towers.

He said he recently called the phone company after he noticed one of the tower's boxes was left open.

"That's the best part of the news that you told me right there that they got him," Laughridge said about the arrest.

Investigators told NBC Charlotte when they arrested Evans, he was trying to sell one ton, or two thousand pounds, of batteries for scrap.

Detectives are investigating whether the couple is behind other cell tower thefts throughout the Charlotte region.

Both remain in the Gaston County Jail. Goldie Evans is under a $25,000 bond while Joshua Evans has a $275,000 bond.