Energy Blotter

Someone tried to set off a bomb at a substation near Nogales, Arizona. While 30,000 people could have potentially lost power, the bomb was very crude and poorly placed. It caused little damage.

Police in Israel arrested a man for running a fake electric utility website and collecting credit card numbers for bill payments. Customers were directed to the site with text messages.

ISIS, a militant rebel group in Iraq and Syria, helps fund its operations by selling back to the Syrian government electricity that it generates at captured power plants.

In Jajpur, India, an ingot-casting plant operating blast furnaces was found to have illegally tapped in to the lines of the North Electricity Supply Company of Odisha. The taps were hidden underground and alongside legal cables. The owner of the casting plant was assessed a penalty of 11.32 crore rupees ($1.9 million).

Thieves stole 8 miles of copper wire from Lamar Electric Cooperative during June. Some of it was taken from storage units and vehicles but some was clipped from live lines using tree-trimming tools.

A jury in Philadelphia found two ex-police officers guilty of theft of services, conspiracy, and risking a catastrophe for bypassing gas and electric meters at three properties they own. Though the judge in the case originally suggested that jail time was not an appropriate punishment, after one of the criminals railed in court at the prosecutor for being jealous of her jewelry, car, and general lifestyle, the judge changed his mind and sentenced her to 6-23 months in prison, 5 years probation, and a $5,000 fine. The other person convicted apologized and received 6-12 months of house arrest and a $1,000 fine.

An anti-theft drive by Jamaica Public Service resulted in the arrest of 36 people. One was fined $100,000 (or 6 months in prison), another $25,000 (or also 6 months in prison).

A woman in Belize City convicted of stealing electricity was fined $500 and ordered to pay up by August 31st or face 5 years in jail.

Two PPL customers are facing theft charges for rigging their meters. The utility was led to the tampered meters by an audit of bills, which showed that the two suspiciously had consumed zero electricity on certain days.

In Summerton, South Carolina, a man reported his neighbor to police for plugging in an extension cord each night to an outlet on the man’s back porch. According to a local news outlet, “Deputies reported observing an extension cord running from an outlet on the victim’s back porch as described.” It does not say whether the police did anything more than observe.