Electricity Thieves “Play” with Fire

Hourieh, Showing Device Used to Bypass a Meter

Hourieh, Showing Device Used to Bypass a Meter

Some people are stealing electricity from Lamar Light and Power and their illegal hookups have the potential for danger. Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, told the Lamar Utilities Board, his crews have come upon several instances where people ‘jump’ an electrical meter to skip out on payments.

Fortunately, it’s not a widespread situation, but Hourieh told the board, it’s a dangerous practice. “Our meter department detected a couple of system losses,” he said, displaying some of the wiring used to divert power connections.  He showed some wire connectors and a makeshift power box that had subpar resistance for the amount of current it was carrying.  “You can see the arc marks made at the site,” he said showing some of the items used.

Hourieh said these cases would be brought to the attention of the police, not just for the loss of revenue, but for the potential danger associated with a jumper system attached to a meter for power diversion. “Some people are taking parts of metering equipment from abandoned houses at night,” he explained.  “People are taking risks doing something like that.  It’s not worth it,” he told the board, “It’s a safety issue and some people could get burned doing this.”  He said there have been reports in larger cities were thieves have burned themselves trying to cut copper wire from the poles at substations.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessEnergyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyUtilities


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