Police Thwart Scheme To Steal Light Poles

(AP) 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.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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