Batteries stolen from roadside signs cashed in for scrap

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In what police say is another metal-for-scrap scheme, a Westport man has been charged with stealing nine heavy-duty batteries from road construction signs and selling them at a local scrapyard.

Nathan J. Moniz, 28, of 30 Crane Ave., Westport, was charged on Friday, Sept. 20, with receiving stolen property worth over $250, larceny under $250 by false pretense, and using a motor vehicle during the commission of a felony.

Westport Police Detective Ryan Nicholson said that an investigation by town and State Police into the disappearance of batteries from work signs along Route 24 led them to Mr. Moniz.

The 6 volt batteries are larger than ordinary car batteries and weigh about 65 pounds apiece.

Officers checked with area scrapyards and learned that 585 pounds worth of batteries matching this description had been turned in at Mid City Scrap Iron and Salvage Co. in Westport for a total payment of $146. Scrapyard records indicated that the batteries had been brought in by Mr. Moniz.

The larceny by false pretenses charge stems from the act of cashing stolen batteries in at the scrapyard.

There has been a rash of such thefts lately, Det. Nicholson said.

Thirty three of the batteries were reported stolen from Bridgewater and another 14 from Lakeville in cases that have not yet ben resolved.

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