Warning: Stealing electricity is illegal and dangerous

The United Illuminating Co., after a recent string of arrests involving theft of service, is reminding people not to try to steal electricity because it’s illegal and dangerous.

The utility company, which serves Shelton, has issued a stern warning to thieves: Stealing electricity can get you thrown in jail or result in injury or death.

"We work on an ongoing basis with police and other law-enforcement agencies to root out those who tamper with our equipment or steal energy," said UI’s Joseph Thomas.

Tampering with meters or installing illegal connections creates dangerous conditions for building occupants, neighbors, and for municipal first responders during a fire or other structure emergency.

Theft of utility service is illegal. Signs of energy theft include evidence of tampering or altering electric meters or locking equipment, strange wires, jumper cables, objects on — or inserted into — the equipment, or holes drilled into the equipment. Other indications of possible theft include efforts to restrict access to the utility meter on a property, or people — who are not utility employees — working on utility meters or equipment.

UI uses a variety of sophisticated tools to detect electricity theft and fraud, including analysis of usage patterns and databases that can identify potential theft of service locations.

Anyone with information about energy theft or tampering with utility equipment should report it to the utility at 800-722-5584.