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Unemployed Zephyrhills man accused of stealing streetlights

ZEPHYRHILLS — A 51-year-old man was arrested Wednesday morning after, authorities say, he tried to steal six aluminum lighting poles from the Rapid River neighborhood, hoping to sell the metal for scrap.

A witness saw James Leech III kicking each 12-foot pole until it fell out of its brackets, according to an arrest report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He managed to tote them onto a trailer until the witness confronted him, the report said. Leech dumped the poles on the ground and took off, with the witness following him, the report said.

A Pasco deputy pulled Leech over at 19th Street and Fifth Avenue.

"I need money," the unemployed man told the deputy. "I heard people have been stealing stuff out of here and thought I could too."

Leech, of 5832 10th St., Zephyrhills was charged with grand theft. He was released Thursday on $2,000 bail.

Unemployed Zephyrhills man accused of stealing streetlights 07/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 2:46pm]
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