Thefts Of Electric Meters On Rise
Posted July 10, 2003 9:28 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — You would think an a electric meter would be the last thing a thief would want, but police and power company officials say the thefts are on the rise.
The latest theft happened at the
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
in Raleigh. Police said someone ripped the electric box right off the wall.
Police and power company officials said the thefts happen all the time.
said 2,000 power meters were stolen last year.
"Someone stole an electric meter and it put about a third of the building out of operation," said Becky Christian of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. It also spoiled $15,000 worth of food.
"We ended up losing enough food that would have fed 3,000 families," she said.
Power company officials said thieves take the boxes and hook them up to their own homes to steal electricity.
"These thieves are under the mistaken impression that if they stole a power meter it's going to work and they will get power and not get caught. But we can track the meters and they won't get away with it," said Julie Hans of Progress Energy.
If an electric meter is stolen, power officials said to stay away from the area because there are probably exposed wires. Call the power company to replace the meter. To prevent a box from being stolen, Hans said homes should be well lit and keep shrubs low.
"If there's a very bushy or grown area, it will provide a place for a thief to hide while they steal your meter," she said.
Power officials said most electric meter thefts occur on abandoned property, but like the theft at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, there are exceptions.