Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 14, 2013

Man accused of stealing electricity

Electric company says spoons were used to establish power at residence

By Carson Gerber Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — A 22-year-old Kokomo man is accused of tearing the meter off a house in Dear Creek Estates and stealing electricity using two spoon handles, officials with Miami-Cass REMC said.

Miami County deputies say Johnny W. Harrington, 22, 3700 block of West Meadow Court, stole the electric company’s meter and unlawfully established power at the residence.

Jim Yates, CEO of Miami-Cass REMC, said power company officials were anonymously notified that Harrington had removed the meter and was stealing power.

When the company checked the house, Yates said, they discovered someone had replaced the meter with two spoon handles to conduct electricity into the residence.

“You’re out there with 240 volts of electricity and two spoons,” he said. “That’s dangerous, to say the least.”

Deputies said they don’t know yet how much electricity Harrington allegedly stole from Miami-Cass REMC.

Harrington was arrested Wednesday on a felony theft charge and incarcerated at the Miami County jail, where he faces a pending probation violation.

The meter at the Kokomo Arts Center was also recently stolen, but no one has been charged in that theft.

Cheryl Sullivan, president of the Kokomo Art Association, said the meter was stolen sometime during the week after tornadoes hit in November.

“It seems to be happening a lot,” she said.

Yates said there have been other instances of people stealing meters from Miami-Cass REMC, but it’s become more infrequent since the company did away with meter readers and installed electronically monitored meters.

“In the old days, it may have happened more without us knowing about it,” he said. “But these more sophisticated meters are starting to eliminate some of these problems.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.