Police thwart light pole theft

May 14, 2008 11:46:26 AM PDT
Police say a dimwitted scheme to steal light poles from a village storage yard has resulted in two arrests on Long Island. Nassau County Police Lt. Ray Cote said Wednesday that neighbors noticed two men carving up the aluminum poles with a cordless power tool and stashing them in a van under the cover of darkness. He says plainclothes officers arrived and caught the thieves in the act.

Cote says the government pays about $1,000 for a light pole - and thieves can get about $150 apiece by selling them for scrap metal. He says there are growing efforts to crack down on such metal thefts.

Police say John Baumann and Stephen Freitas - both Mineola residents - are charged with fourth-degree grand larceny.

The names of their attorneys could not immediately be determined.