Florida men accused of stealing utility pole

"Citizens watching out and officers cleaning up = partnership!" the sheriff's office captioned the snap.

The officer noticed a light pole was missing from an area on top of the bridge and saw the Kia driving eastbound with the pole on its roof.

Mr Apeler initially told polcie officers he was just moving the downed power pole away from traffic, Action News Jax reported.

The pole, valued at $2,500, was turned over to utility company JEA.

A database search found Apeler had 72 scrap metal-related transactions for recycling since January.

The state of Florida continues to send strong warnings that anyone caught looting can and will be arrested, and prosecutors intend to pursue maximum charges allowed. JSO's Twitter feed was quickly filled with memes and photos ridiculing the pair.

It's still unclear why the suspects made a decision to take a light pole, but some social media users suggested they may have planned to sell it to a metal recycling facility.

Both men remain in custody without bond at Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's pretrial detention facility. He stopped the vehicle and arrested the men.

The State Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that law enforcement in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties are working with it to "enhance efforts" to arrest and prosecute anyone who uses the recent hurricane and its effects to commit crimes of opportunity.

Vanessa Coleman

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