(GLEN BURNIE, MD) – While state and local police were manning intersections with non-working traffic signals yesterday due to power outages caused by the weekend storm, two thieves apparently thought it was a good time to steal a highway light pole, but were foiled by an observant motorist who called police.
The two are identified as James A. Phaneuf, 46, of Brooklyn, Md., and Quincy R. Hawkins, 47, of Glen Burnie, Md. Both are charged with theft over $1,000 and malicious destruction of property. After processing, they were taken to a court commissioner for bond hearings and were both released on recognizance.
Just before 9:00 a.m. yesterday, Maryland State Police at the Glen Burnie Barrack received a call from a motorist who said something did not look right about a pickup truck stopped on the ramp from eastbound I-695 to southbound Rt. 2. The motorist said the pickup truck had its hood up, but the two men there did not appear to be working on the truck or waiting for assistance due to a breakdown.
When a state trooper arrived, he found the two suspects standing next to a highway light pole that was laying on the ground. The trooper saw that a power inverter had been hooked to the truck battery and was being used to run a reciprocating saw. The men were using the saw to cut up the light pole. A section of the pole had already been loaded in the pickup.
Both men were arrested on the scene. State Highway Administration officials say the light pole was valued at $1,740, in addition to the value it has in lighting up the ramp for motorists at night.