The story appears on

Page A4

April 27, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Power thieves offer clients 'professional' service

ELECTRICITY thieves are becoming increasingly well-organized, offering "professional" services, such as tampering meter systems, to residents and businesses, the city's power supplier said yesterday.

Shanghai Electric Power Co said it will increase cooperation with police to crack down on the crime that they believe is growing across the city.

The supplier said it would continue to offer rewards for tip-offs from the public and improve technology.

"In the past, families who stole electricity usually came from lower-income groups but it's now also emerging in many higher-scale residential communities," said an official with the company.

"Most confirmed cases now take place in residential areas and streetside stores in outlying areas."

The proximity to the streets and weaker supervision in the suburbs provide a better opportunity for stealing power from the network.

Well-drilled underground businesses offering households the know-how and equipment to tamper with their meter or alter connections have worsened the headache for the crackdown force.

Some illegal technicians brazenly tout for business with posters on the streets in many parts of the city, the power company said.

Besides asking police to increase patrols, the company said it would continue to invest money into a fund to reward residents with information about power thieves. More than 4 million yuan (US$612,740) has been paid out over the past few years, the company official said.

Shanghai Electric is also improving technology. Officials said they are planning to have more meters upgraded to make power theft more difficult.

The company also said it would increase efforts to gather evidence to ensure culprits receive heavier punishments. It is cooperating with local prosecutors to collect enough evidence in order to have a gang of 11 alleged professional power-stealing agents charged with teaching others to commit crime, rather than theft.

They may thus face longer jail terms compared to the punishment from a theft charge, the company officials said.

The gang was busted last May in Putuo District. Police said it was well-organized, with the alleged members given clear roles.

The suspects are all in custody awaiting trial.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend