3 men arrested for using saw to cut down, steal traffic lights from poles, deputies say

Deputies said 29-year-old Aaron Ward, 28-year-old James Donnelly, and 27-year-old Oleksiy...
Deputies said 29-year-old Aaron Ward, 28-year-old James Donnelly, and 27-year-old Oleksiy Naumenko were arrested and charged with grand theft.(Hernando County Sheriff’s Office)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 3:28 PM MDT
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HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) – Three men in Florida have been charged after attempting to steal traffic lights using a saw, officials said.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, a detective was driving home around 1 a.m. Tuesday when he noticed a suspicious van stopped at an intersection with its headlights turned off.

The detective then noticed sparks coming from the area where traffic lights were in the process of being installed.

Additional deputies arrived at the scene, where they said they found three men using a saw to cut the traffic lights off the poles. By the time law enforcement arrived, the men had already successfully cut down three stop lights and placed them inside the van.

The sheriff’s office said all three men admitted to stealing the stop lights.

Officials said the traffic lights are valued at $5,000 each.

Deputies said 29-year-old Aaron Ward, 28-year-old James Donnelly, and 27-year-old Oleksiy Naumenko were arrested and charged with grand theft.

Authorities said the men were booked into the Hernando County Detention Center, each on a $2,000 bond.

Hernando County is located on Florida’s gulf coast, about 50 miles north of Tampa.