It is commonplace in some neighborhoods and communities for residents to steal cable and other utilities. While some may realize just how serious of an offense this is, others don't.
Case in point: A Cuban immigrant was arrested and charged last week with 3rd degree larceny for stealing electricity in his Bridgeport home. According to the Connecticut Post, the suspect didn't even realize that what he was doing was illegal.
The 29 year old man apparently told officers that the practice was commonplace in his native Cuba and that this was where he learned how to do it.
The man had allegedly been receiving free electricity since 2007, racking up a total theft of $5,592. He is said to have drilled a hole in the bottom of the meter and dislodged the “chopper wheel” rendering the meter useless in delivering accurate readings.
Most often when we think of theft we think of shoplifting or even bad checks. Not very many people realize that theft of utilities, even cable, is a serious criminal offense. Whether you are caught stealing clothing from a retail store or electricity from the city, you will face the same potential sentence.
Crimes like this are classified by the value of the goods or services that were allegedly stolen. For instance, whether the defendant is accused of stealing $5,592 in electricity or $5,592 in electronics from the local superstore, they will face similar charges.
A third degree larceny charge is a Class D felony and carries up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Of course as the value of the alleged theft increases, so does the charge and the resulting penalty. Grand larceny, stealing more than $10,000 is considered a Class B felony and carries up to 20 years in prison.
Regardless of how serious the theft charge is against you or what it is that you are accused of stealing, I can help. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial when you are being criminally charged.
Call me today for a free consultation on your case.