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Police catch alleged street-lamp thieves after freeway chase

January 22, 2011 |  5:45 pm

Two suspected brass thieves were arrested early Saturday after they allegedly tried to steal a historic Pasadena light pole by backing into it with a stolen Chevrolet van, police said.

Pasadena Police Lt. Diego Torres said two men were attempting to push over a street lamp at Waverly Drive and Orange Grove Boulevard about 5:45 a.m. when two city workers spotted them and called police. The municipal employees were in the area to check on light poles because of recent thefts.

Torres said the men fled in their van and a police followed.  The pursuit ended at Avenue 52 and the 110 Freeway when the suspects crashed and ran from the vehicle. They were located and arrested later with the help of a Los Angeles police helicopter.

Frank Bise, 44, of Lancaster and Steven Dickinson, 52, of Los Angeles were booked into Pasadena city jail on suspicion of attempted grand theft. Torres said additional charges, such as evading police, will be considered.

According to police, at least 12 street lights were stolen last year in Pasadena and three so far this year, including two last week. Torres said the brass lamps are sold to recycling centers and scrap yards.


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-- Dan Weikel