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Old 05-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Homeless using your power.

Hope it's OK to post this here for you pros. for better advice. I have a house in NC, but moved to Florida, I plan to sell it one day or fix it and rent it.

I kept power and water on for awhile, cuz we stay here when we visit, but since we don't come much anymore, mom died, I had both cut off in Feb.

Thurday I got a whopping $800 power bill for this property...I was coming this way for Holiday, so planned to stop by. I got here today and here now, power is on. I find no tag on the meter and you can see someone sawed that lil latch, I long painted the box to match the house, you could see it rubbed off, someone went into the box......somehow someone cut the meter on. I read online that it can be done, but I'm not opening it.

It's in a fairly nice hood, but homes are spread out, problem the city lake is behind it, far back, but trails back there and homeless people have started hanging out there, mostly for water and using the shelters at night, police run them off in the day. Has become an issue since economy failed.

Anyway, I'll call Duke, but how can someone run my power for maybe a month or more and Duke not know it...my power bill at it's highest was $300.00 a month here. It is a old meter, not digital. I don't even know how they read it, stopped seeing readers some years ago

I assume they will try to stick me with the bill, but wonder if they will try to fine me, charge for fixing it, etc. My issue is this...From what I've read Duke Power owns the box, it's not my property, so why should I be responsible for any damage, fines, power use, etc, done by criminal activity against them....I can prove I haven't been here, course I'm sure they've seen and heard it all.

Do they not check the things, I thought they would know right away if someone cut power on...

I can document I live in Florida, maybe come here once every 3 months. I haven't lived here for a year. I will file a police report tomorrow I can tell someone has been in my home, cigarette butts everywhere, we don't smoke, nothing in it of value and it's a mess because we left it full of all the junk we didn't want to move, but you can tell someones been sort of living here.

What else is funny.....the water is back on, I had it cut off. I had it cut off around March 1... I know my water hose was rolled up, it's unrolled to the back edge of yard.

How do I stop this from happening in the future. I'm scared if I put a lock on the box someone would do more damage to get in.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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A moderator will be by soon to close this. Im sorry this is a forum for electrical professionals.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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Sorry, but the utilities are not responsible for patrolling your property.

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