Police say a man stole nearly 300 large batteries from portable signs along New York highways, knocking out warnings and information to motorists.
Westchester County police say Angel Velez of the Bronx has been charged with grand larceny and other crimes. They say the batteries were worth $60,000.
The signs are typically used to warn motorists of temporary traffic patterns or safety hazards.
The batteries weigh 55 to 96 pounds. Police believe Velez sold them to recycling centers for about $20,000.
The thefts occurred along the state Thruway and several parkways in Westchester. State police and New York City police are investigating whether Velez is responsible for similar thefts in Rockland and Orange counties and the Bronx.
A call to Legal Aid, which is representing Velez, was not immediately returned.