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Cops foil would-be light pole thieves

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Local,Crime,Aubrey Whelan

Maryland State Police arrested two men trying to steal a highway light pole in Glen Burnie Monday in the midst of power outages.

James Phaneuf, 46, of Brooklyn, Md., and Quincy Hawkins, 47, of Glen Burnie, were charged with theft and malicious destruction of property after a motorist spotted them near a ramp on I-695 at around 9 a.m. Monday. The driver called police because, he said, the two men "did not look right." The pickup truck the men were standing next to had its hood up, but they weren't working on it, police said.

A state trooper arrived and found a light pole on the ground next to Phaneuf and Hawkins, police said. The men were reportedly using a reciprocating saw - powered by their car battery - to cut up the light pole, police said. One section of the pole was already loaded in their truck.

The trooper arrested both men, who have since been released on their own recognizance. The pole was valued at $1,740, police said.

awhelan@washingtonexaminer.com

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