20 December 2013

Liberia: LEC Arrests Power, Meter Thief

The Anti Theft Crew of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) over the weekend arrested an individual who is said to be one of the major sources behind most stolen and bypassed meters being disconnected by the crew. The individual only identify as Patrick was arrested late Friday evening while trying to bypass a customer's meter somewhere in the Old Road Community. This customer who had two (2) meters taken down in less than two weeks one of which was bypassed and the other was a stolen meter. This has led to the anti theft crew to increase inspection exercise on its customer.

Several customers have confirmed to the anti theft crew that the arrested individual (Patrick) was responsible for bypassing their meters while others also confirmed that he sold meters to them. When asked how much he was charging them for a stolen meter or to bypass a meter, they said a meter was being bypassed for US$150.00 while a stolen meter was sold for between US$300.00 to $400.00.

On Saturday the December 14, the meter supplying power to Patrick's 19th Street residence was found bypassed and supplying current to several residents. Some of those beneficiaries informed the anti theft crew that they have paid their monthly subscription to Patrick and it was very unfortunate that their lines were been disconnected.

Some of his customers said they were going to take up issues with Patrick and are also prepared to testify against him in court. At the same time, the crew on its routine inspection visited Center and Benson Streets where two (2) major direct taps on the LEC power distribution lines were discovered to have been supplying several homes. According to information, over thirty (30) homes between Center and Gurley Streets were direct beneficiaries. Over twenty (20) structures on Benson were also discovered. The anti theft crew also disconnected a line at the SD Cooper opposite the former GC office on Saturday which was constructed on late Friday evening. The crew was also able to retrieve several stolen and bypassed meters.

The head of the anti theft crew Curtis Lavallee expressed joy over the arrest of Patrick , and has said, this should serve as a warning to all of those involved with the theft of power. He said LEC does not sell meter or any electrical appliances and anyone found selling meter should be reported immediately. The only money a customer pays is US$50.00 for Service Connection Fees.

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