Shocking Neighborhood Behavior

Electrical contractor accused of stealing power from his neighbor

Playing with power can get you in trouble, especially when it wasn’t your power to play with. 

Andrew Natale, 45, an electrical contractor from Derby, apparently used his expertise for no good.  He is accused of bypassing his home's electricity meter and stole about $13,500 worth of power since 2003.

He did it by installing a tap on his meter, which allowed him to use electricity without it registering on the meter, Al Carbone, United Illuminating Co. spokesman, told the Connecticut Post.

UI officials told the Connecticut Post that Natale did receive a bill each month for the electricity used that registered on the meter but he used far beyond that amount.
Carbone said the illegal bypass was disconnected and reinstalled periodically, which is dangerous and could cause electrocution or a fire.
"He was getting electricity to a separate breaker panel that fed appliances and a refrigerator and heating and air conditioning" that the meter didn't register, Carbone told the Connecticut Post. "That's a lot of electricity."
The arrest came after a long investigation that began after a UI field worker noticed the tap on the meter.

 "We have a pretty vigorous revenue protection program," Carbone told the Connecticut Post. "We have some really hard tech programs that look for abnormalities in usage."
Natale, who was charged with first-degree larceny, posted $2,000 bail and is set to be arraigned Monday in Derby Superior Court.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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