CORAM, N.Y. (AP) – A man who was fired three weeks ago from his construction job swiped an excavating machine from his ex-boss and drove it through a neighborhood, knocking over utility poles and a fence, police said.

Timothy Muench, 25, of Coram, was arrested after Monday night’s wild ride in the Payloader owned by the George M. Walsh Contracting company, Suffolk County police said. Muench was angry because he felt the company owed him back pay, police said.

Muench went into the company’s yard at about 8:40 p.m., started up the Payloader, a type of excavator with a scoop in the front, and drove it through a fence and onto the neighboring streets, police said. He took out three utility poles before abandoning the payloader and running away, they said.

He was arrested a short time later on charges of criminal mischief and grand larceny.

and was to be arraigned Tuesday. There was no telephone listing for him at the home address provided by police.

No one answered the phone at the Walsh company on Tuesday.

AP-ES-09-19-06 1621EDT

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