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Pair charged in alleged attempt to steal light pole on busy highway

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:01 a.m. HST, Oct 11, 2011

Authorities charged two men with theft for trying to steal a 30-foot aluminum light pole in broad daylight near a busy highway Sunday afternoon, police said.

Douglas Souza, 46, of Kalihi Valley, is charged with third-degree theft. He was scheduled to appear in District Court this morning.

Also charged with third-degree theft is Ludivico Santiago, 44, who lives in the Kapalama area, police said.

Dan Meisenzahl, state Department of Transportation spokesman said the pole had been knocked down by a traffic accident and was lying beside Pali Highway near Queen Emma Summer Palace waiting to be re-erected.

Police said Souza and Santiago had loaded the pole into a pickup truck when officers arrived and arrested them at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday.  The pole had been cut into pieces.

Meisenzahl said each pole costs about $870 to replace and weighs about 150 pounds. This is at least the third time in 12 years that someone has stolen or tried to steal a utility pole, apparently for the scrap metal value, Meisenzahl said. 

As scrap metal the thieves would have gotten only $70 for their effort, Meisenzahl said.

Judiciary records show that Santiago has seven misdemeanor and six felony convictions beginning in 1986. The felony convictions for theft and three for forgery.

Souza has three felony and three misdemeanor convictions beginning in 1984. His felony convictions include car theft, escape and theft.

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2 charged with theft of light pole

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