CENTEREACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Stephen Ruth calls himself the “Red Light Robin Hood.”

The 42-year-old Centereach man was arrested Tuesday after he posted videos online of himself using a painter’s extension rod to turn several red light cameras in Ronkonkoma toward the sky so they would not catch violators.

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“I did it because the public is being abused,” he said Wednesday.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Ruth claimed he was doing a public service as he brazenly posted a video of his actions to Facebook.

He told CBS2’s Gusoff that he has personally received six red light tickets, each carrying a fine of $80. In the video he showed viewers of the video how he rendered the red light cameras useless.

“You take your extension rod, you place it under the camera, and then you point it off — and you save our taxpayers,” Ruth said in the Facebook video. “You save innocent people.”

Ruth has now found himself charged with criminal tampering and obstructing government operation four times in Ronkonkoma. Smiling for his mugshot, Ruth called it civil disobedience.

“This is government taking advantage, and it’s going to stop,” he said in the video.

But Suffolk County police had a different name for it.

“I call it breaking the law,” said Lt. Milagros Soto.

Ruth is accused of tampering with the camera at Ocean Avenue and the Long Island Expressway South Service Road in Ronkonkoma two different times — on Friday and Monday, police said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ruth allegedly tampered with two more cameras, at Hawkins Avenue and LIE South Service Road in Ronkonkoma.

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Ruth smiled for his mugshot and was released on $3,000 bail, Gusoff reported.

Ruth’s gripe is about right turns on red. He claims he stopped before making a turn safely.

“People are making full stops, looking, seeing that they’re clear, and still getting tickets,” Ruth said.,

Ruth said he was doing the right thing.

“All our veterans, all our senior citizens, they’re all being abused,” he said. “Our war veterans are coming back from war, and they’re getting tickets. Our senior citizens, who already sacrificed their time and their lives for our country, are coming and getting these tickets.”

But police said the law is clear.

“There is no amount of time,” Soto said. “You just have to stop completely before you proceed.”

But with a quarter million views, Ruth has his supporters – including his own 16-year-old son.

“He didn’t break anything,” said Stephen Ruth III. “He just moved it.”

But others thought Ruth went the wrong way.

“Obey the law and follow the rules,” one woman said.

Ruth said he knew he was going to be arrested, but wanted to stop an abuse.But his crusade could cost him far more than the tickets – he now faces up to $2,000 for each offense.

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A spokesman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Wednesday, “There is never an excuse for vandalism or breaking the law.”