Lenexa man allegedly caught stealing copper from Shawnee light poles

A Lenexa man was charged today with damaging and stealing copper wire from city-owned street light poles in Shawnee.

Prosecutors charged Jake Shields, 39, in Johnson County District Court with felony counts of theft and criminal damage to property.

Shields was arrested Sunday night after a Shawnee police officer doing surveillance in the 20300 block of W. 80th Street spotted him tampering with a pole, police said. The officer was in the area because several poles had been damaged previously.

Police estimated a $6,500 loss to the city because of the damage and stolen copper.