Two people have been charged within one week in Omaha with stealing electricity from the power company. MidAmerican Energy’s Kevin Waetke says the company gets a few such cases every year, but they’re rare.Waetke says it requires someone to open their electric meter and tamper with it or take it apart, which he says is illegal and risky. MidAmerican has over 600-thousand customers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Illinois. Waetke says it’s dangerous to try and “siphon off” some electrical power or get around paying for it.The home’s wires run in near the meter, and when it’s tampered with it can break insulation, exposing bare wires. One reason it’s hard to steal current is the monthly visit by company-trained meter-readers. He says if they see something suspicious, they’ll check and repair it, and the company will prosecute and make a customer pay for what power was taken. Waetke says many customers will likely be dismayed by their July power bills, when air conditioners ran a lot.
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