An Innisfail man has been charged with stealing electricity after a Fortis employee spotted suspicious activity at what was thought to be a vacant residence.
RCMP said the Fortis employee went to the residence on May 17 to do some work when she was approached by a resident in a “fairly hostile” way. “There were immediately some concerns of hers that the power may have been tampered with,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Troy Savinkoff on Tuesday.
The RCMP was alerted and got a search warrant to investigate the following day.
Police confirmed that a limiter had been removed and electricity was being stolen from the property.
An electricity limiter is a device that a distribution company installs on a meter after receiving a ‘De-energize for Non-Payment’ request from a retailer, says the Utilities Consumer Advocate website. The limiter allows the furnace and a few lights to run as a safety measure, but if too much power is used the device shuts off electricity completely.
“There was no power being paid on the property for some time so (Fortis) thought that the property was vacant, but it was not,” said Savinkoff.
RCMP arrested three people but charges have only been laid against a 33-year-old Innisfail man. He is facing charges of possession of stolen property under $5,000 and theft of electricity. The suspect has been released from custody and is due in Red Deer provincial court on June 29.