Cops: Mineola men caught stealing 40-foot light poles

Two Mineola men perhaps bit off more than they could chew when they tried to steal 40-foot aluminum light poles and sell them for scrap metal, police say. John Baumann, 53, and Stephen Freitas, 47, were

News 12 Staff

May 15, 2008, 8:35 PM

Updated 5,909 days ago

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Two Mineola men perhaps bit off more than they could chew when they tried to steal 40-foot aluminum light poles and sell them for scrap metal, police say.
John Baumann, 53, and Stephen Freitas, 47, were caught after someone reported hearing them cut the light poles into smaller sections with a handheld saw. Detectives say the men were trying to sneak the poles through a hole in a fence and into a waiting van.
Bauman and Freitas admitted they were trying to sell the aluminum on the scrap metal market, a common scheme, according to police. Detective Lt. Ray Cote of the Nassau Police Department says the county has experienced a huge rash of thefts for metals such as copper, aluminum and brass.
The aluminum poles are said to cost about $1,000, but the thieves expected to get only $142 for them at the scrap metal yard, according to the police. They say Bauman is a career criminal on parole and that the men were experienced at similar this kind of scheme.


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