Tattooed, shirtless looters arrested for stealing power pole as police turn up the heat

Two men were imprisoned Wednesday after an officer discovered a utility pole strapped to the best of a vehicle in Jacksonville, times after  Hurricane Irma   spawned severe water damage in the city, as cops over the Sunshine State work overtime in order to nab thieves impeding recovery attempts.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office messaged a picture of the shirtless men sitting down handcuffed on the sidewalk.

“These two had been caught stealing a JEA rod just this morning! Citizens watching out there and officers cleaning up = collaboration! #Irma #JSO, ” the sheriff’s office wrote.

The arrest came even as Lakewood ranch officials work feverishly to restore energy statewide. As of Thursday morning, second . 6 million customers, roughly 25 % of the state, were still without having power — down from fifteen million people only two days back.

Law enforcement said 42-year-old Blake Lee Waller and 46-year-old Victor Walter Apeler were arrested on grand fraud charges after someone reported viewing them load the pole on to a sports utility vehicle.


A police record obtained by the Associated Press stated an officer noticed a light rod missing from an area on top of the bridge. He later spotted an automobile driving with the pole on top, halted the vehicle and arrested the guys.

Apeler told investigators he was shifting the pole because it was on the floor close to traffic lanes, according to the statement.

The database search found Apeler got 72 scrap metal-related transactions designed for recycling since January.

The arrests within Jacksonville came as Miami law enforcement ramped up patrols in town streets to crack down on looting after Irma.

More than 50 suspected looters were arrested during Hurricane Irma, with 26 of them accused associated with breaking into the same Walmart store at the north side of Miami, Reuters reported. Miami Deputy Chief Luis Cabrera issued a stern caution to would-be looters as officials began their 12-hour shifts.

“ I actually said we would not tolerate legal activity or looting or anyone who takes advantage of our residents, ” Cabrera said at a news meeting Tuesday. “ I was not kidding. ”

Other police departments across the condition have also taken to Twitter to alert against criminal activity.

The Associated Press added to this report.