Florida Men Caught Hauling Stolen Power Pole With a Kia After Hurricane Irma

Florida Man doesn’t take a day off.

byKyle Cheromcha|
Kia News photo


It takes a special kind of opportunist to look around at the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma and think Well, they probably won't notice one more power pole gone. Then again, Florida Man is nothing if not industrious, as deputies with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested a pair of thieves on Wednesday who were in the process of hauling away a 40-foot utility pole on the roof of their Kia Sorento.

According to WFTV News, an officer received a report from a witness that the two shirtless men were attempting to lift the pole onto the roof of their crossover on Wednesday morning in Jacksonville. As he arrived on scene, he noticed the overloaded Kia trundling away from a very conspicuous empty space on the bridge where the pole used to be.

The officer quickly pulled them over, at which point 46-year-old Victor Walter Apeler and 42-year-old Blake Lee Waller told him they had found the pole blocking traffic and were trying to be helpful by moving it. The Florida Times-Union reports the officer asked them why they didn't simply roll it out of the way, to which they unsurprisingly had no answer.

If you're wondering what on earth the pair planned to do with their haul, officers reportedly ran a pawn database search on Apeler and discovered he had sold scrap metal to various businesses 72 times the beginning of the year. Officials with the local utility company later valued the pole at around $2,500, and both men were charged with grand theft.

Of course even if they had gotten away with it, finding someone to take a public utility pole off your hands is easier said than done. Then again, as Florida man shows us time and time again, where there's a will, there's a way.

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