Westchester Police Arrest Road Safety Equipment Thief

Dec 5, 2012

A Bronx man was arrested by Westchester County Police this week and charged with stealing close to 300 batteries from roadside Variable Message Signs that provide information and safety warnings to motorists. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more.

60-thousand dollarsworth of  batteries were stolen from the portable message signs owned by Westchester County, New York State and several private companies that do road construction projects in the county. The thefts occurred along the Hutchinson River Parkway, Bronx River Parkway, Saw Mill River Parkway, Cross County Parkway, New York State Thruway and local roads as well as from a state DOT maintenance yard. Police believe 26 year old Angel Velez  of the Bronx received more than $20,000 by selling stolen batteries for their lead content to recycling centers. The batteries, which weigh between 55 and 96 pounds, cost about $200 each when newly purchased. New York State and City Police Department are now investigating whether Velez is responsible for similar thefts that have occurred in Rockland, Orange and Bronx counties.

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