by Tashun Chism
When Linda Kervin returned home and saw her lights were still on, she thought she had left them on by mistake. After taking a closer look, she dicovered someone had stolen her digital electric meter and replaced it with an old rotary meter.
"It made me mad that someone would steal something from my house. Get a job!"
Lufkin Police tell us electric meter and water meter thefts are becoming more common. Most meter thieves usually have the same motive.
Lt. David Young of the Lufkin Police Department said, "Usually they're behind on the bill. Most often the service has been cut off for non payment. Or they just never hooked up and they're trying to get free service at the tax payers' expense."
Some thieves even sell the meters. Police say meter theft is not only illegal, it's also dangerous.
"These people are dealing with hot lines. They steal electric meters and they put them back in. If you're not trained in how to do that, it's very easy to get electricuted or cause some serious damage," Lt. Young added.
Damage that can also put others in harm's way.
"I've actually seen electric meters stolen that were controlling red lights at an intersection. Sometimes it's just an act of criminal mischief and sometimes they're just trying to use the meter to put somewhere to obtain electricity, but it's a very dangerous thing to do," Lt. Young told us.
Police don't believe any of the meter thefts are connected. As for Kervin, her case is still being investigated. She's also received a new digitial electric meter to replace the one that was stolen.