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Wed Apr 26, 5:16 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - A man hired a crane to uproot half a dozen newsstands that were not his and move them to street corners where he had sought, but had not received, permits to do business, officials said.

"I believe he knew exactly what he was doing," Robert D. Solvibile, commissioner of licenses and inspections, said Tuesday. He said there didn’t seem to be a rational basis for where the newsstands went, with one from Center City being transported to Northeast Philadelphia and another from the Northeast to Center City.

John Rocco, chairman of the Newsstand Association of Philadelphia, said he got phone calls from members who showed up for work to find their businesses gone, looked into it, and called police when he learned about the crane, calling the theft of the newsstands — candy, magazines and all — "outrageous." AP

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