Police thwart light pole theft

May 15, 2008 4:30:18 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 the thieves were caught in the act after neighbors saw them carve up the aluminum poles with a cordless power tool and stash the pieces in a van.

Police say John Baumann and Stephen Freitas have been charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. A spokesman for Nassau County prosecutors says Freitas has been released on his own recognizance, and Baumann's bond has been set at $50,000 or $25,000 cash.

Their lawyers' names could not immediately be determined.

Cote says the government pays about $1,000 for a light pole, while thieves can get only about $150 apiece by selling the poles for scrap metal.