ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As temperatures are rising, the Dougherty County Police Department (DCP) is warning people to be aware that there are electricity thieves, especially if you have outside meter receptacles.
DCP received a complaint in one neighborhood just days ago.
If you want to avoid becoming a target, there are a few things you should know to look out for.
The fact that this is happening may sound strange but right now, Dougherty County Police are asking everyone to keep a close eye on your meter boxes as people are going around breaking into them to steal your electricity.
Imagine getting an extremely high power bill, knowing it's not your fault, but it's someone else leaching off your electricity.
“Anything that’s concerning stealing is wrong and a thief is a thief,” said George Westbrook, a concerned resident.
Westbrook said he is disturbed after hearing thieves are lurking around homes, racking up on free power. And Dougherty County Police said during this time of year, it’s a trend.
“During the summer months, we’ve seen it where folks have actually cut the security tabs and the electric meter, taking the electric meter out and switch it with their neighbors,” said Detective David Flick.
Flick said even worse, those stealing, often switch meters back before bill time just to pay a lower bill.
“I heard it happening before, not just in the Albany area but I’ve known it to happen in times in the past, but it’s something that shouldn’t be happening,” said Westbrook.
According to DCP, the latest incident happened this weekend. Police also said that in the past, cable has also been stolen.
“And have ran the cable into their apartment and the unsuspected victim is the one paying for the cable,” said Flick.
One big way you can help prevent this from happening to you is by staying on top of all your bills.
Also, all summer long, it’s important for residents to walk around their home to make sure things don’t look fishy or out of the ordinary.
Police also want people to stay in close contact with their power and cable providers to report any suspicious activity.
And for those who are stealing people’s services, Westbrook had a stern message.
“You should not be stealing because they know right from wrong and they need to get a job, go to work and pay their bills,” Westbrook said.
Police also want those who go around doing this to know that you can do time for this crime.