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Woman says neighbor stole her electricity

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Posted: Jun 27, 2014 7:08 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: Jun 27, 2014 7:08 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Electricity fraud, Entergy, steal, fraud, power, cable, fixed incoming housing, Brittany Weiss

BATON ROUGE - A woman living in North Baton Rouge says she's the victim of electricity fraud.

Michelle Williams owes more than $1,000 to Entergy. Bills she can't pay because of her fixed income.

"Stressed and depressed. That about sums it up, stressed and depressed," she said about how she's feeling.

In February, Williams says her bills skyrocketed. They were triple and quadruple the amount she normally paid. They peaked at about $500 a month.

Williams said she checked with neighbors who said their bills were normal. The high charges even made her property manager suspicious.

"I actually live on the property myself," said Atricia Ball. "I am in a four bedroom unit, which is larger than what she has and my bills range from $160-$165."

The man living across the street from Williams, John Hubbard, was arrested May 29 for stealing utilities.

Records show he's accused of finagling his power meter. Police documents say Williams had heard Hubbard admitted to stealing power one night while drunk.

Entergy said they turned off the utilities at Hubbard's home in January. When police arrived to Hubbard's home, they noticed the power box still had power going to it, and there was no lock or tag on the electric box going into the house. Entergy came out to the house, removed the box, and verified it had power. The report states Hubbard removed the plastic caps from his cable and that's how he was able to get power.

Hubbard said he wasn't directly stealing from his neighbor, but Entergy said when electricity fraud happens, power is drawn from the neighborhood.

Entergy was about to turn off electricity at Williams' because she has not paid her bills, but held off pending investigation.

"He stole mine and Entergy is making me pay through no fault of my own," said Williams.

Entergy says their investigation will be complete by next week.

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