A man has been taken into custody after Miami-Dade police identified him as the culprit of a scheme to remove and steal over $50,000 worth of solar panel batteries from bus stop shelters across Miami-Dade county.
Nikolas Velikopoljski, 24, was initially charged with grand theft and organized scheme to defraud, but the organized scheme to defraud charge was later dropped, his attorney said.
Miami-Dade police first began their investigation of the case when Outdoor Media, a company that operates the advertising located in bus stop shelters, conducted an audit and found that 226 batteries had been stolen from 113 bus stop shelters between March and July of 2019.
Some time after Outdoor Media reported their findings to the police, an off-duty officer observed a "suspicious individual" at a bus stop shelter.
This led detectives to identify Velikopoljski as the chief suspect. Upon being interviewed, Velikopoljski admitted to the crime, police said.
He was arrested and taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Velikopoljski's attorney said he had pleaded not guilty to the grand theft charge.