North Arkansas Electric Coop has declined to press charges against a Horseshoe Bend man police say admitted to stealing electricity. The man, who was not charged, was convicted of stealing water in the city last year.
Horseshoe Bend Police Chief Fred Mitchell Jr. said he investigated a complaint by the NAEC that a Horseshoe Bend resident was using a copper "jumper" in his electric meter to steal electricity.
Mitchell said he confronted the individual and he admitted to stealing electricity.
NAEC construction supervisor Sherman Ables said the NAEC wouldn't pursue charges against the individual. "We always give people the benefit of the doubt," he said.
Ables said when a customer is accused of stealing electricity a letter is sent to them detailing the rules and penalties if the customer persists. NAEC Administrator Jerry Estes said electricity theft is rare and dangerous.
"I want to stress the use of jumpers on meters is very dangerous," said Estes. Estes said a flattened piece of copper pipe or a pair of insulated channel locks are the most common jumpers used to steal electricity.
Ables said in this case the thief used a pair of copper jumpers in the meter base.